United States and China

October 18, 2023 | 7:09am
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United States and China
October 18, 2023

The United States accuses China of orchestrating a "concerted" campaign of dangerous and provocative air force maneuvers against US military planes in international airspace, warning such moves could spark inadvertent conflict between the two powers.

The Pentagon says aggressive tactics by Chinese aircraft threatened US planes flying over the East and South China Sea regions, tallying more than 180 such incidents since fall 2021 -- "more in the past two years than in the decade before that," said Ely Ratner, assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs. — AFP

October 15, 2023

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken calls on China, a partner of Iran, to use its influence to push for calm in the Middle East after Hamas militants struck Israel, provoking retaliation and fears that violence will spread.

The top US diplomat, who was visiting Saudi Arabia, had a "productive" one-hour telephone call with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller says.

"Our message was that he thinks it's in our shared interest to stop the conflict from spreading." Miller tells reporters on Blinken's plane from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi. — AFP  

October 11, 2023

The US Justice Department says a US Navy petty officer pleaded guilty on Tuesday to providing sensitive military information to a Chinese intelligence officer.

Wenheng Zhao, 26, and another US sailor, Jinchao Wei, were arrested in August on suspicion of spying for China.

Zhao pleaded guilty in a federal court in California to charges of conspiring with a foreign intelligence officer and accepting a bribe, the Justice Department says in a statement. — AFP

October 11, 2023

The US Justice Department says US Navy petty officer pleaded guilty on Tuesday to providing sensitive military information to a Chinese intelligence officer.

Wenheng Zhao, 26, and another US sailor, Jinchao Wei, were arrested in August on suspicion of spying for China.

Zhao pleaded guilty in a federal court in California to charges of conspiring with a foreign intelligence officer and accepting a bribe, the Justice Department says in a statement. — AFP

October 7, 2023

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer accuses Chinese firms of "fuelling" a drug addiction crisis in the United States, as he met with officials in Shanghai on the first leg of a visit to the country.

Schumer is the latest high-level American official to visit China as Washington seeks to ease tensions with Beijing.

He met Saturday with Chen Jining, the ruling Chinese Communist Party's chief official in Shanghai, according to a pool report, stressing the United States "does not want to decouple our economies".  — AFP

September 19, 2023

America's top diplomat and China's vice president voice hope for more stability in the often tense relationship as the rival powers held their second high-level talks in days.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, meeting Vice President Han Zheng in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, said he believed in "face-to-face diplomacy" to deal with disagreements.

"I think it's a good thing that we have this opportunity to build on the recent high-level engagements that our countries have had," Blinken tells Han as they open their meeting at China's mission to the United Nations. — AFP

September 6, 2023

China's premier says on Wednesday major powers must keep their differences under control and avoid "a new Cold War", in a thinly veiled reference to Washington, as top Asian and US officials gathered for talks in Indonesia.

Beijing has expressed concern about US-backed blocs forming on its doorstep, while facing disputes with other powers in the region over the South China Sea and other issues.

"Disagreements and disputes may arise between countries due to misperceptions, diverging interests or external interferences," Li Qiang says at the start of an ASEAN-plus-three meeting with Japan and South Korea in Jakarta. — AFP

September 4, 2023

US President Joe Biden expresses disappointment that Chinese leader Xi Jinping would not attend the G20 summit in India this week, as Washington seeks to repair relations with Beijing.

Asked about Xi reportedly not planning to join the gathering in New Delhi, Biden told reporters, "I am disappointed, but I am going to get to see him," without elaborating.

Bilateral ties between the United States and China face a long list of problems, from trade disputes to Taiwan's future to the expansive Chinese presence in the South China Sea. — AFP

August 11, 2023

China on Friday says it had recently uncovered a US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) "case of espionage" involving a Chinese national named Zeng who provided "core secret information" for money.

"After meticulous investigation, the state security authority obtained evidence of Zeng's espionage activities and, in accordance with the law, took coercive measures against him to eliminate the harm in a timely manner," Beijing's Ministry of State Security says in a statement published online.

The statement says that 52-year-old Zeng had been sent to Italy for studies, where he befriended a CIA agent stationed at the US embassy in Rome. — AFP

July 17, 2023

US climate envoy John Kerry was in Beijing on Monday to revive stalled talks and pressure China to step up its efforts to reduce planet-warming emissions.

Bilateral climate talks stalled last year after Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the US House of Representatives, enraged Beijing by visiting self-ruled Taiwan, which China considers to be part of its territory.

But Kerry, a former secretary of state, has enjoyed comparatively cordial and consistent relations with China despite Washington and Beijing locking horns over Taiwan and a number of other thorny issues.

He is likely to have his work cut out for him, however, with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan telling CNN on Sunday that Kerry would press China not to "hide behind any kind of claim that they are a developing nation" in order to slow-roll efforts to cut emissions.

"Every country, including China, has a responsibility to reduce emissions," Sullivan said.

"And the world, I do believe, should step up and encourage -- indeed, pressure -- China to take far more dramatic action to reduce emissions." — AFP

July 16, 2023

US climate envoy John Kerry will head to China on Sunday to meet with his counterpart Xie Zhenhua and restart stalled talks between the world's two biggest emitters of planet-warming gases.

Kerry's trip to China — his third as President Joe Biden's climate emissary — follows weeks of record-setting summer heat that scientists say is being exacerbated by climate change.

Bilateral climate talks stalled last year after Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the US House of Representatives, visited self-ruled Taiwan and infuriated Beijing, which considers the island its territory.

But Kerry, a former secretary of state, has enjoyed comparatively cordial and consistent relations with China despite Washington and Beijing locking horns over Taiwan and a number of other thorny issues, including advanced semiconductors.

His trip to Beijing also comes after two other high-profile visits by US officials — first Secretary of State Antony Blinken, then Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen — aimed at stabilizing US-China ties. — AFP

July 11, 2023

Washington and Beijing both want to stabilize US-China ties and deal constructively with problems in their relationship, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says.

Yellen's comments on National Public Radio's Marketplace program come after a four-day visit to Beijing during which she met with China's new economic leadership team.

"There are challenges, but I believe there is a desire on both sides to stabilize the relationship and to constructively address problems that each of us see," Yellen said of the world's two biggest economies.

The aim is to do so "frankly, with candor, with respect and to build a productive relationship going forward," she added. — AFP

July 9, 2023

The United States will push on with "targeted actions" to safeguard national security interests, but these measures are not intended to "gain economic advantage," US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday.

At the end of a four-day trip, Yellen stressed that US actions aim to be "transparent, narrowly scoped, and targeted to clear objectives... They are not used by us to gain economic advantage." — AFP

July 7, 2023

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has expressed concern about Beijing's new export controls on metals key to producing semiconductors.

"We are still evaluating the impact of these actions, but they remind us of the importance of building resilient and diversified supply chains," she told a meeting with American businesses in China, noting that she was also troubled by recent "punitive actions" against US firms. — AFP

July 7, 2023

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen begins a full day of meetings in Beijing on Friday, with strained US-China ties, American businesses' concerns and the global economic outlook on her agenda.

Yellen's four-day trip marks her first to China as Treasury chief, as Washington seeks to steady the tense relationship between the world's top two economies while laying the groundwork for greater communication.

A Treasury official told reporters Thursday that the United States does not expect specific policy breakthroughs over the next few days, but hopes for frank and productive conversations that can pave the way for future talks.

On Friday, Yellen is due to meet with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at the Great Hall of the People, where she will have a chance to discuss the economic relationship, raise concerns and find opportunities for collaboration, the official added. — AFP

July 6, 2023

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is due to arrive in Beijing on Thursday, kicking off a high-level visit aimed at improving communication and stabilizing the tense relationship between the world's top two economies.

Yellen's trip through Sunday will be her first to China as treasury secretary, and comes just weeks after Secretary of State Antony Blinken paid a rare visit to the country.

While Yellen had previously expressed her intent to visit China, these plans were cast in doubt as tensions surged earlier this year after the United States said it detected a Chinese spy balloon and shot it down.

The latest travel plans will see her seek to expand lines of correspondence, avoid miscommunications and widen collaboration on issues like the global economy, climate change and debt distress, according to a Treasury official. — AFP

July 3, 2023

US confirms Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will visit to Beijing from July 6-9

This will be the second trip by a cabinet official to China since ties deteriorated earlier this year.

Yellen will raise with her counterparts the importance for both countries "to responsibly manage our relationship, communicate directly about areas of concern, and work together to address global challenges", says the Treasury Department. — AFP

June 30, 2023

The Chinese spy balloon shot down by a US fighter jet over the Atlantic in February did not collect intelligence as it flew across the United States, the Pentagon says.

"It's been our assessment now that it did not collect while it was transiting the United States or overflying the United States," says Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder.

Ryder says the US "took steps to mitigate" intelligence collection by the balloon. 

"Certainly the efforts we made contributed" to that, Ryder says, without further explanation. — AFP

June 27, 2023

Chinese Premier Li Qiang has slammed efforts in the West to "de-risk" their economies as a "false proposition", hitting back against US and EU policy aimed at reducing their reliance on China. 

The United States and the European Union have in recent months moved to "de-risk" from the world's second-largest economy. 

"In the West, some people are hyping up what is called 'cutting reliance and de-risking'," Li told delegates at the opening of a World Economic Forum meeting in northern China.

"These two concepts... are a false proposition, because the development of economic globalisation is such that the world economy has become a common entity in which you and I are both intermingled," he said in a wide-ranging speech calling for deepening economic globalisation and cooperation.

"The economies of many countries are blended with each other, rely on each other, make accomplishments because of one another, and develop together," he added. — AFP

June 22, 2023

New Zealand's prime minister says he did not agree with US President Joe Biden equating China's Xi Jinping with "dictators", ahead of a visit to Beijing next week.

Asked if he concurred with Biden's assessment of China's leader, Chris Hipkins said "no", adding that "the form of government that China has is a matter for the Chinese people".

Hipkins is due to meet Xi next week when he leads a trade delegation to China, the first visit by a New Zealand leader since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Xi has led China since 2013, maintaining an iron grip on power by purging rivals and banning even modest forms of dissent. — AFP

June 22, 2023

The White House says it had "every expectation" that the top US diplomat's recent trip to Beijing will lead to better relations, even after Joe Biden compared China's leader to embarrassed "dictators."

US State Secretary Antony Blinken "made some progress" during a long-awaited trip to China, a senior administration official says.

"We have every expectation of building on that progress," the official says. — AFP

June 21, 2023

US President Joe Biden has equated his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping with "dictators" on Tuesday as he addressed a Democratic Party donors reception in California in the presence of journalists.

Referring to a recent crisis in which the United States shot down a Chinese balloon it claimed was spying on its territory, Biden said Xi "didn't know it was there," adding: "That was the great embarrassment for dictators, when they didn't know what happened." — AFP

June 20, 2023

US President Joe Biden reacted positively Monday after Secretary Antony Blinken's trip to Beijing where he met top Chinese leadership, saying "we're on the right trail."

Speaking to reporters after a climate event in California, Biden said Blinken did "a hell of a job" on his trip to the Chinese capital, the first by a US secretary of state since 2018.

"We're on the right trail here," the president added. — AFP

June 19, 2023

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet Monday in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping, a US official said, a symbolic sign of support for efforts to improve ties.

The top US diplomat, paying the highest-level US trip to China since 2018, will meet China's leader at 4:30 pm (0830 GMT), the US official said on condition of anonymity.

June 19, 2023

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi in Beijing on Monday, on the final day of a trip to Beijing aimed at improving severely strained ties.

The two met at Beijing's Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, briefly exchanging pleasantries before heading into a closed-door meeting.

June 18, 2023

Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in China on Sunday on the highest-level trip by a US official in nearly five years, with the rival powers looking to lower the temperature after soaring tensions.

Neither side expects breakthroughs during Blinken's two-day visit, with the world's two largest economies at odds on an array of issues from trade to technology to regional security.

But the two countries have increasingly voiced an interest in seeking greater stability and see a narrow window before elections next year both in the United States and Taiwan, the self-ruling democracy which Beijing has not ruled out seizing by force.

In a sign of the fragility of the effort, Blinken had been due to visit four months ago, the fruit of a cordial summit between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in Bali in November.

But Blinken abruptly postponed the trip after the United States said it detected a Chinese spy balloon over US soil, leading to furious calls for a response by hardliners in Washington.

Speaking in the US capital before his departure, Blinken said he would seek to "responsibly manage our relationship" by finding ways to avoid "miscalculations" between the countries.

"Intense competition requires sustained diplomacy to ensure that competition does not veer into confrontation or conflict," he said. — AFP

June 14, 2023

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken calls Wednesday for open lines of communication as he speaks with China's foreign minister, ahead of planned face-to-face discussions in Beijing.

Relations between the world's two largest economies have tanked in recent years over Taiwan, trade and human rights, among a litany of other issues.

Blinken is due in Beijing on Sunday for talks aimed at calming nerves, after a previous planned visit was abruptly cancelled in February. — AFP

June 11, 2023

China has been operating an intelligence unit in Cuba for years and upgraded it in 2019 in an effort to enhance its presence on the Caribbean island, a White House official said Saturday. 

"This is well-documented in the intelligence record," the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said in confirming China's intelligence presence.

US media in recent days had reported that Beijing was planning to set up a spy base on the island, which is located just off American shores.

When President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, "we were briefed on a number of sensitive PRC efforts around the world to expand its overseas logistics, basing, and collection infrastructure globally," the administration official said, using an acronym for the People's Republic of China.

"This effort included the presence of PRC intelligence collection facilities in Cuba," the official said. "In fact, the PRC conducted an upgrade of its intelligence collection facilities in Cuba in 2019."

The Cuban government, which has already denied the presence of a Chinese spy base on its territory, slammed the latest development. — AFP

June 10, 2023

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to China next week, rescheduling a visit that was canceled in February after a saga over a suspected surveillance balloon, US officials say.

Blinken is expected to arrive in Beijing on June 18, the first trip by a top US diplomat to China since his predecessor Mike Pompeo in October 2018, US officials say on condition of anonymity.

The State Department has not officially announced his travel. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby recently said the United States would announce travel by senior officials "in the near future" without giving details. — AFP

June 9, 2023

The White House denies a report that China is planning to set up a surveillance base just off US shores in Cuba.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Beijing and Havana have entered into a secret agreement for a Chinese electronic eavesdropping facility on the Caribbean island that could monitor communications across the southeastern United States.

The region includes the US Southern and Central Command headquarters, both in Florida. — AFP

June 8, 2023

A bipartisan group of United States lawmakers including Florida Senator Marco Rubio has urged Joe Biden's administration to "prohibit" Hong Kong's sanctioned leader from attending an annual Pacific economic summit in California. 

The Chinese finance hub is one of the member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade summit, which is due to be held in San Francisco in November.

But Hong Kong leader John Lee was placed under US sanctions in 2020 by the Donald Trump administration due to his role as the city's security chief in crushing massive and at times violent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong the year before.

"Inviting a sanctioned human rights abuser is an affront to all those who have been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party and (China), and its proxies in Hong Kong," the lawmakers said Wednesday in an open letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. — AFP

June 6, 2023

China's foreign ministry says Tuesday that the United States and China held "frank" and constructive talks in Beijing on improving ties and managing their differences.

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink travelled to Beijing this week -- a rare visit to China by a senior US diplomat as Washington seeks to allay tensions between the rival powers.

"The two sides conducted frank, constructive, and effective communication on promoting the improvement of Sino-US relations," China's foreign ministry says of Kritenbrink's meetings with senior Chinese officials. — AFP

June 4, 2023

A Chinese Navy ship maneuvered in an "unsafe manner" near an American destroyer transiting the Taiwan Strait, the US military said Saturday.

It is the second close encounter between American and Chinese military assets in less than 10 days, following what the US military said was an "unnecessarily aggressive maneuver" by one of Beijing's fighter's near one of Washington's surveillance planes last week.

The Chinese ship "executed maneuvers in an unsafe manner in the vicinity of Chung-Hoon," an American destroyer, during the Saturday transit, the US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) said in a statement.

Beijing's ship "overtook Chung-Hoon on their port side and crossed their bow at 150 yards. Chung-Hoon maintained course and slowed to 10 (knots) to avoid a collision," the statement said.

It then "crossed Chung-Hoon's bow a second time starboard to port at 2,000 yards (meters) and remained off Chung-Hoon's port bow," coming within 150 yards at the closest point, the US military said, adding that the "US military flies, sails, and operates safely and responsibly anywhere international law allows." — AFP

June 3, 2023

Dialogue between the United States and China is "essential" to avoiding miscalculations that could lead to conflict, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin says Saturday, after Beijing rejected a formal meeting between him and his Chinese counterpart.

Austin and Li Shangfu shook hands and briefly spoke for the first time at the opening dinner of the Shangri-La Dialogue defence summit in Singapore the night before, but the interaction fell short of the Pentagon's hopes for a more substantive exchange.

The US defense chief is on a tour of Asia that previously took him to Japan and will also include a visit to India -- part of a push by top American officials to shore up alliances and partnerships in the region to help counter Beijing. — AFP

June 2, 2023

A top White House official on Friday will make the case for putting rising nuclear power China at the center of future arms control efforts with Russia.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will deliver a speech at the annual National Arms Control Association meeting in Washington outlining the Biden administration’s attempt to navigate a rapidly shifting strategic nuclear landscape, senior officials said.

At the core of that puzzle is negotiating with China on its rapidly expanding arsenal and global presence, rather than solely focusing, as throughout the Cold War, on Moscow. — AFP

June 1, 2023

Beijing's decision to decline a meeting between US and Chinese defence chiefs is "unfortunate", particularly given recent "provocative" Chinese behaviour, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday.

The comments come days after Washington accused Beijing of an "unnecessarily aggressive maneuver" near a US surveillance aircraft.

Washington had invited China's Minister of National Defence Li Shangfu to hold talks with Austin on the sidelines of a defence summit in Singapore this week.

But Beijing declined the meeting, with a spokeswoman saying "the US knows clearly why there are currently difficulties in military communication". — AFP

May 31, 2023

Beijing blamed US "provocation" Wednesday for an incident last week in which a Chinese plane crossed in front of an American surveillance aircraft over the South China Sea.

The incident comes at a time of frayed ties between Washington and Beijing over issues including Taiwan, which China regards as its territory, and the shooting down of an alleged Chinese spy balloon that flew over the United States this year.

"The United States' long-term and frequent sending of ships and planes to conduct close surveillance on China seriously harms China's national sovereignty and security," foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said when asked about the latest incident.

"This kind of provocative, dangerous activity is the cause of the security issues on the seas," Mao said, calling on Washington to "immediately stop this form of dangerous provocation".

"China will continue to take all necessary steps to resolutely protect its own sovereignty and security," she said. — AFP

May 30, 2023

Beijing has declined a US invitation for a meeting in Singapore between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Chinese counterpart Li Shangfu, the Pentagon said Monday.

"Overnight, the PRC informed the US that they have declined our early May invitation for Secretary Austin to meet with PRC Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu in Singapore this week," Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder said in a statement, refering to the People's Republic of China.

"The PRC's concerning unwillingness to engage in meaningful military-to-military discussions will not diminish (the Defense Department's) commitment to seeking open lines of communication with the People's Liberation Army," Ryder said. — AFP

May 26, 2023

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo expresses concern to her Chinese counterpart Wang Wentao over Beijing's restrictions on US companies.

The officials, who met in Washington, "had candid and substantive discussions on issues relating to the US-China commercial relationship," the US Department of Commerce says in a statement.

This included "the overall environment in both countries for trade and investment and areas for potential cooperation," it says. — AFP

May 25, 2023

China accuses the United States and its allies of waging a "disinformation campaign" Thursday, after Washington, its Western partners and Microsoft said state-sponsored Chinese hackers had infiltrated critical US infrastructure networks.

"This is an extremely unprofessional report with a missing chain of evidence, this is just scissors-and-paste work," foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning says.

The allegations were "a collective disinformation campaign of the Five Eyes coalition countries", she says. — AFP

May 25, 2023

The United States, its Western allies and Microsoft say that a state-sponsored Chinese cyber actor had infiltrated critical US infrastructure networks, and warn similar activities could be occurring globally.

"The United States and international cybersecurity authorities are issuing this joint Cybersecurity Advisory (CSA) to highlight a recently discovered cluster of activity of interest associated with a People's Republic of China (PRC) state-sponsored cyber actor, also known as Volt Typhoon," says a statement released by US, Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and UK authorities. 

In a separate statement, Microsoft says Volt Typhoon had been active since mid-2021 and had targeted critical infrastructure in Guam, a crucial US military outpost in the Pacific Ocean. — AFP

May 22, 2023

Papua New Guinea will sign a defence pact with the United States on Monday, as it hosts Washington's top diplomat and India's prime minister for separate talks that will focus on China's rising influence.

The Pacific island nation is strategically located close to trade routes to Australia and Japan, in a region where Washington and New Delhi are concerned about China trying to woo tiny nations with diplomatic and financial incentives.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will follow Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in holding separate talks with 14 Pacific leaders including New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins who have gathered in the PNG capital Port Moresby.

Before that meeting, Blinken is expected to sign a defence cooperation agreement with Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape that will give US troops access to the Pacific nation's ports and airports.

The State Department said the pact would "enhance security cooperation and further strengthen our bilateral relationship, improve the capacity of the PNG Defence Force, and increase stability and security in the region". — AFP

May 19, 2023

When the US secretary of state travels through Papua New Guinea's capital next week to meet the leader of the South Pacific nation, it will be on a six-lane highway built by China.

Antony Blinken will be dispatched to meet Pacific leaders at a summit Monday in the place of President Joe Biden, who had planned a historic visit spurred by Beijing's growing regional clout. 

On a brief stop in Port Moresby, the top US diplomat will pass sites including a Chinese-built national courthouse, bus stops with Mandarin signs, and even Chinese supermarkets.

That's on top of the billboards of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be in town for his own summit.

The rivalry between the United States and China has brought them to loggerheads in the Pacific — and their jostle for influence has been a boon for islands like resource-rich and strategically located Papua New Guinea.

"Modi and Biden... even a year ago, you would have thought no way," a Western diplomat in Port Moresby told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"They are everyone's best friend at the moment." — AFP

May 15, 2023

China has sentenced a US citizen to life in prison for espionage, a court statement said Monday. 

John Shing-Wan Leung, an American passport holder and Hong Kong permanent resident, "was found guilty of espionage, sentenced to life imprisonment, deprived of political rights for life", a statement from Suzhou Intermediate People's Court read. — AFP

April 26, 2023

China is pushing ahead with the largest-ever expansion of its nuclear arsenal, modernizing the atomic deterrent with an eye on any future conflicts with the United States, experts say.

The SIPRI think tank estimates that China has a stockpile of around 350 nuclear warheads -- small fry when compared with the United States and Russia.

But it is growing fast, and could have 1,500 warheads by 2035, according to a Pentagon estimate published in November. — AFP  

April 20, 2023

The United States seeks a "constructive and fair economic relationship" with China, even as Washington holds firm in defending the country's national security, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in prepared remarks Thursday.

Her speech, to be delivered at a school of Johns Hopkins University in Washington, comes as tensions remain elevated between the world's two biggest economies.

China's new Foreign Minister Qin Gang last month accused Washington of stoking tensions between both powers, warning of "conflict and confrontation."

But Yellen said the United States remains firm in its conviction to defend its values and national security.

"Within that context, we seek a constructive and fair economic relationship with China," she added in her remarks. — AFP

April 20, 2023

The United States seeks a "constructive and fair economic relationship" with China, even as Washington holds firm in defending the country's national security, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in prepared remarks Thursday.

In a speech to be delivered at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, she added: "We will continue to partner with our allies to respond to China's unfair economic practices." — AFP

April 18, 2023

China says that "political manipulation" was behind the arrests of two men US authorities accused of setting up a Chinese "police station" in New York.

"China firmly opposes the US side's slandering, smearing, engaging in political manipulation, and maliciously concocting the so-called transnational repression narrative," foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin tells reporters. — AFP

April 15, 2023
China's ambassador for the Korean peninsula accuses the US of "using" regional tensions to reinforce an anti-Beijing alliance, after weeks of mounting rhetoric and missile tests by Pyongyang. "We are concerned about the US' intention to use Korean peninsula issues as a tool for containing China," Special Representative Liu Xiaoming tells AFP in Paris following a tour of European capitals. "It's part of their Indo-Pacific strategy... to gang up allies, to strengthen their alliance with (South Korea) and Japan," he adds.
April 13, 2023

China blames the "negative impact" of US military drills for tensions on the Korean peninsula, after Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile that prompted Japan to briefly issue a seek shelter warning.

South Korea's military says it had detected one "medium range or longer" ballistic missile from the Pyongyang area on Thursday morning, adding it was likely a "new type" that may have used advanced solid fuel. 

Japan briefly issued the seek shelter warning to residents of the northern Hokkaido region, but later said the missile had not fallen within the country's territory and posed no threat. — AFP

April 13, 2023

China on Thursday blamed the "negative impact" of US military drills for tensions on the Korean peninsula, after Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile that prompted Japan to briefly issue a seek shelter warning.

South Korea's military said it had detected one "medium range or longer" ballistic missile from the Pyongyang area on Thursday morning, adding it was likely a "new type" that may have used advanced solid fuel. 

Japan briefly issued the seek shelter warning to residents of the northern Hokkaido region, but later said the missile had not fallen within the country's territory and posed no threat.

In response to a question about the missile launch at a regular press briefing, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin said: "The current round of tension on the peninsula has its causes. The negative impact of the US military drills and deployment of strategic weapons around the peninsula is obvious to all." — AFP

April 10, 2023

The US Navy says its guided-missile destroyer the USS Milius sailed through waters claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea in a "freedom of navigation" operation.

"This freedom of navigation operation upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea," the Navy says in a statement, adding that the ship had passed near the Spratly Islands. — AFP

April 5, 2023

US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy sits down with Taiwan's president on Wednesday for a highly symbolic meeting in California that has already prompted outrage and dire warnings from China.

The meeting outside Los Angeles comes on what is technically a stopover for President Tsai Ing-wen, after her two-country trip in Latin America to visit Taiwan's few remaining official allies.

A pro-China demonstration also gathered nearby chanting "One China", as Tsai arrived Tuesday evening, following her Central American tour. — AFP

April 4, 2023

An upcoming meeting between Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will "further damage" relations between Beijing and Washington, China's consulate in Los Angeles says.

The Wednesday meeting, set to take place in California, will "greatly hurt the national feelings of 1.4 billion Chinese people" and undermine "the political foundation of China-US relations," a consulate spokesperson said in a statement.

"Speaker McCarthy is ignoring the broad support of the international community for the One-China principle, ignoring the lessons that should have been drawn from previous mistakes," the consulate said.

The statement was referring to Beijing's policy that no country may maintain official diplomatic relations with both China and Taiwan.

"There is no doubt that he will make the same mistake again, further damage China-US relations, but it will only strengthen the strong will and determination of the Chinese people" to achieve "reunification" with Taiwan, they added. — AFP

March 25, 2023

US President Joe Biden says he believed China has not sent arms to Russia after President Vladimir Putin's forces invaded Ukraine.

"I've been hearing now for the past three months (that) China is going to provide significant weapons to Russia... They haven't yet. Doesn't mean they won't, but they haven't yet," he tells a news conference during a visit to Canada.

"I don't take China lightly. I don't take Russia lightly," he adds, while also suggesting that reports of their rapprochement had probably been "exaggerated." — AFP

March 24, 2023

Five Chinese employees at the Beijing office of US due diligence firm Mintz Group have been detained by authorities, the company said Friday.

"Chinese authorities have detained the five staff in Mintz Group's Beijing office, all of them Chinese nationals, and have closed our operations there," a company statement emailed to AFP said.

The firm has "retained legal counsel to engage with the authorities and support our people and their families", it continued.

Mintz has not "received any official legal notice regarding a case against the company and has requested that the authorities release its employees", the company said.

"Mintz Group is licensed to conduct legitimate business in China, where we have always operated transparently, ethically and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations," it added, saying it would work with authorities to "resolve any misunderstanding that may have led to these events".

Visited by AFP journalists Friday, the firm's Beijing office was void of any activity, with the glass front doors firmly sealed with a chain. — AFP

March 23, 2023

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken brushes off China's diplomacy with Russia as a "marriage of convenience," and says Beijing had not yet provided military aid to "junior partner" Moscow to fight in Ukraine.

President Xi Jinping on Wednesday closed a trip to Moscow that was closely watched in Washington, which considers China the greatest long-term adversary of the United States -- and which is also supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russian invaders.

"In part as a result of having this very different worldview than we do, they have a marriage of convenience. I'm not sure if it's conviction," America's top diplomat tells the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. — AFP

March 22, 2023

The United States says it does not see China as capable of being an impartial mediator between Moscow and Kyiv over the war in Ukraine.

It was the most direct US criticism yet of China's aim to be a middleman in efforts to end the war.

"I don't think you can reasonably look at China as impartial in any way," White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters. 

He noted that China has refrained from criticizing the Russian invasion of Ukraine and has continued to buy Russian oil even as the West piles sanctions on Moscow's energy industry to starve the Kremlin of money to pay for the war.

China, Kirby added, also "keeps parroting the Russian propaganda" to the effect that the US and other countries in the West are to blame for the war for giving such strong support to pro-western Ukraine over the years that Russia felt threatened and justified in invading. — AFP

March 22, 2023

Few expect Chinese President Xi Jinping's diplomacy to yield breakthroughs on the Ukraine war. But in Washington, there are fears Beijing may succeed elsewhere -- in winning credibility on the world stage.

Xi pushed forward positions on Ukraine during two days of talks in Moscow, a week after China announced the restoration of ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia -- rivals in a region where the United States for decades has been the main diplomatic powerbroker.

The United States has been skeptical of China's diplomatic offensive, believing its proposed ceasefire would only provide time for Russia to regroup forces that Ukrainians have been succeeding in pushing back for more than a year.

"The world should not be fooled by any tactical move by Russia -- supported by China or any other country -- to freeze the war on its own terms," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. — AFP

March 22, 2023

Few expect Chinese President Xi Jinping's diplomacy to yield breakthroughs on the Ukraine war. But in Washington, there are fears Beijing may succeed elsewhere -- in winning credibility on the world stage.

Xi pushed forward positions on Ukraine during two days of talks in Moscow, a week after China announced the restoration of ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia -- rivals in a region where the United States for decades has been the main diplomatic powerbroker.

The United States has been skeptical of China's diplomatic offensive, believing its proposed ceasefire would only provide time for Russia to regroup forces that Ukrainians have been succeeding in pushing back for more than a year. — AFP

March 13, 2023

China's new Premier Li Qiang has slammed US "encirclement and suppression", as the annual session of the country's rubber-stamp parliament came to an end.

"China and the United States should cooperate, and must cooperate. When China and the US work together, there is much we can achieve," Li says at a press conference in Beijing, adding: "Encirclement and suppression are not advantageous for anyone." — AFP

March 10, 2023

The United States has placed five Chinese companies on its sanctions blacklist for supplying components to Iran drone builders.

The US Treasury indirectly tied the Chinese companies to Russian attacks in Ukraine and Iranian attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf region, in both cases using Shahed-136 unmanned aerial vehicles made by the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Co (HESA).

The sanctioned companies include Chinese companies in Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Guilin and Hong Kong, which the Treasury said shipped light engines and other drone components to HESA, which is controlled by Iran's defense ministry, according to the Treasury.

The companies are "responsible for the sale and shipment of thousands of aerospace components, including components that can be used for UAV applications," to HESA, the Treasury says in a statement. — AFP

March 7, 2023

State media reports that President Xi Jinping condemned the US-led "suppression of China" in a speech to delegates at an annual congress in Beijing.

"Western countries led by the United States have implemented all-round containment, encirclement and suppression of China, which has brought unprecedented severe challenges to our country's development," Xi said, news agency Xinhua reports.

The 69-year-old leader, who is gearing up to start a third consecutive presidential term, said the past five years have been riddled with a new set of hurdles that threaten to weigh down China's economic rise. — AFP

March 1, 2023

A panel of US lawmakers tasked with scrutinizing Beijing held a debut hearing Tuesday overshadowed by protests from the public gallery as it focused on the "existential" threat of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

Republicans and Democrats hope the "House Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party" will be a bulwark against what they see as the malign influence of the Asian giant.

But an activist with a sign reading "China is not our enemy" began decrying the work of the panel as the witnesses gave opening statements.

As she was removed, a second protester stood up and yelled, "This committee is about saber-rattling -- it's not about peace," and continued to rant as he too was escorted out amid a chorus of boos from the gallery.

H.R. McMaster, one of Republican former president Donald Trump's national security advisors, appeared to blame the outburst on a department of the CCP's Central Committee that carries out influence operations abroad. 

"I think these interruptions are indicative of the effect that the United Front Work Department has had... They reinforced, I think, the idea that America is the problem in the world, and only if America disengages or in this case becomes more passive, that things will get better," he said. -- AFP

February 20, 2023

Beijing has slammed what it called "false" claims by the United States that China is considering arming Russia in its war against Ukraine.

"We do not accept the United States' finger-pointing on China-Russia relations, let alone coercion and pressure," foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin tells a regular briefing, accusing Washington of "spreading false information". — AFP

February 17, 2023

President Joe Biden says he would talk to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in the wake of the US Air Force shooting down what Washington says was a high-tech Chinese spy balloon earlier this month.

"I expect to be speaking with President Xi and... we're going to get to the bottom of this," Biden says in his most extensive public remarks since the incident on February 4.

While stressing that the United States is "not looking for a new Cold War," Biden says "I make no apologies for taking down that balloon."

"We'll always act to protect the interests of the American people and the security of the American people," Biden says. — AFP

February 16, 2023

The United States will work to maintain lines of communication with China despite a rift over an alleged surveillance balloon, a top US diplomat says.

The United States and China have "never stopped communicating and trying to understand each other" despite the cancellation this month of a visit by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, says his deputy, Wendy Sherman.

"We have, we are and we will maintain open lines of communication with the PRC so we can responsibly manage the competition between our countries," Sherman says, using the acronym of the People's Republic of China.

"We do not see conflict with the PRC. We believe in the power of diplomacy to prevent miscalculations that can lead to conflict," she says in a speech at the Brookings Institution. — AFP

February 14, 2023

The United States has recovered important sensor and electronics parts from a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon it shot down earlier this month, the US military said on Monday.

"Crews have been able to recover significant debris from the site, including all of the priority sensor and electronics pieces identified as well as large sections of the structure," the US Northern Command said in a statement.

China insists the balloon, which spent several days flying over North America, was an errant weather observation aircraft with no military purpose, but the United States says it was a sophisticated high-altitude spying vehicle that is part of a program with global reach. -- AFP

February 14, 2023

The United States has recovered important sensor and electronics parts from a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon it shot down earlier this month, the US military says.

"Crews have been able to recover significant debris from the site, including all of the priority sensor and electronics pieces identified as well as large sections of the structure," the US Northern Command says in a statement.

China insists the balloon, which spent several days flying over North America, was an errant weather observation aircraft with no military purpose, but the United States says it was a sophisticated high-altitude spying vehicle that is part of a program with global reach.

A US F-22 Raptor fighter jet shot it down off the coast of South Carolina on February 4, and teams have since been working to recover the debris for analysis.

American warplanes have downed three other objects since then -- one near Alaska, another over Canada and a third over Lake Huron -- but authorities have not identified their origin or purpose. — AFP

February 13, 2023

Washington flew balloons into China's airspace more than 10 times since January 2022, Beijing says, after an alleged Chinese surveillance craft was shot down over the United States.

Relations between the US and China have soured in recent weeks in the wake of Washington's decision to shoot down the alleged spycraft in early February, which Beijing has insisted was for civilian purposes.

A number of other such devices have since been shot down over the United States and Canada, though Beijing has only admitted that the first was one of its own. 

And on Monday China accused the US of sending over 10 balloons into its airspace since January 2022. 

"It's not uncommon as well for the US to illegally enter the airspace of other countries," foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin says during a briefing.

"Since last year alone, US balloons have illegally flown above China more than 10 times without any approval from Chinese authorities," he adds. — AFP

February 13, 2023

The United States has communicated with Beijing on the alleged Chinese surveillance balloon shot down on February 4, after Pentagon overtures were rebuffed for days, a defense official says.

"There have been contacts made with the PRC on the high altitude balloon," Assistant Secretary of Defense Melissa Dalton tells reporters, referring to the People's Republic of China.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin asked to speak with Chinese counterparts shortly after an Air Force fighter shot down the Chinese balloon off the US east coast after it had traversed the entire country for days.

But he got no response, even though the incident prompted Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel a long-planned diplomatic mission to Beijing.

China said Thursday it refused the offer of a call with the US defense chief because of Washington's "irresponsible" decision to shoot down the balloon.

"This irresponsible and seriously mistaken approach by the US did not create a proper atmosphere for dialogue and exchanges between the two militaries," China's defense ministry said in a statement. — AFP

February 11, 2023

The US Commerce Department says it has blacklisted six Chinese entities for supporting Beijing's military modernization efforts, particularly relating to aerospace programs including airships and balloons.

The move came a day after US lawmakers unanimously denounced China's use of a suspected spy balloon that flew over North America last week.

The balloon's days-long flyover from Alaska to South Carolina captured the attention of regular Americans and officials, before the US military shot it down off the country's east coast Saturday. — AFP

February 10, 2023

US lawmakers have unanimously denounce China's use of a suspected spy balloon that flew over North America last week.

The vote allowed lawmakers to agree on a bipartisan stance on Beijing, after several balloon-related political skirmishes. 

The balloon's days-long flyover from Alaska to South Carolina captured the attention of regular Americans and officials alike, before the US military shot it down off the east coast Saturday.

The House of Representatives passed a resolution "condemning the Chinese Communist Party’s use of a high-altitude surveillance balloon over United States territory as a brazen violation of United States sovereignty." — AFP

February 9, 2023

Beijing has condemned US President Joe Biden's comments that Chinese leader Xi Jinping faced "enormous problems", saying the remarks were "extremely irresponsible".

In an interview with PBS NewsHour, Biden said Wednesday that China was constrained in its ability to confront the United States by the need to protect international trade, and that Xi himself is in an unenviable position.

China hit back at the remarks Thursday, with foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning telling a regular briefing that Beijing was "strongly dissatisfied".

"This type of rhetoric from the US is extremely irresponsible and runs counter to basic diplomatic etiquette," Mao says, adding that Beijing "firmly opposed this". — AFP

February 8, 2023

Beijing rejected a request for a secure call between Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin and his counterpart on the day an American warplane shot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon, a US Department of Defense spokesman says.

"On Saturday, 4 February, immediately after taking action to down the PRC balloon, the DOD submitted a request for a secure call between Secretary Austin and PRC Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe," Brigadier General Pat Ryder says in a statement, referring to the People's Republic of China.

"Unfortunately, the PRC has declined our request. Our commitment to open lines of communication will continue," Ryder adds.

China says the balloon was an errant weather observation aircraft with no military purpose, but Washington has described it as a sophisticated high-altitude spying vehicle. — AFP

February 7, 2023

President Joe Biden has defended the decision to wait until a Chinese balloon crossed the United States before shooting it down, and the White House said valuable intelligence was being culled from the device.

China says the balloon was an errant weather observation aircraft with no military purpose, but Washington has described it as a sophisticated high-altitude spying vehicle.

A US fighter plane shot down the balloon Saturday just off the east coast in the Atlantic and naval and coast guard forces are currently recovering the debris for intelligence analysis.

"Once it came over the United States from Canada, I told the Defense Department I wanted to shoot it down as soon as it was appropriate," Biden tells reporters.

"They concluded we should not shoot it down over land. It was not a serious threat and we should wait till it got (over) the water." — AFP

February 6, 2023

A US decision to shoot down a balloon Beijing claimed had veered off course has "seriously impacted and damaged" relations between the countries, China's foreign ministry says.

"The US' actions have seriously impacted and damaged both sides' efforts and progress in stabilising Sino-US relations since the Bali meeting," vice foreign minister Xie Feng says, according to a foreign ministry statement, referring to a summit between presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in November. — AFP

February 5, 2023

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has blasted the US for shooting down a Chinese balloon, saying the downing of the "civilian" aircraft was "clearly overreacting and seriously violating international practice."

Saturday afternoon was the military's first chance to take down the balloon "in a way that would not pose a threat to the safety of Americans," a senior defense official told reporters, while still allowing authorities to collect the fallen debris from US territorial waters. 

In eyewitness video posted to social media, the balloon appeared to disintegrate in a white puff before its remnants dropped vertically into the Atlantic Ocean below. -- AFP

February 5, 2023

Beijing blasts the Pentagon's decision to shoot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon spotted flying over North America, accusing the United States of "clearly overreacting and seriously violating international practice".

"China expresses strong dissatisfaction and protests against the use of force by the United States to attack the unmanned civilian airship," Beijing's foreign ministry says in a statement, adding that it would "reserve the right to make further necessary responses".

The craft spent several days flying over North America, ratcheting up tensions between Washington and Beijing, before it was brought down by a missile shot from an F-22 jet on Saturday, Pentagon officials said. — AFP 

February 4, 2023

A US expert says the first Chinese surveillance balloon that the Pentagon found flying over sensitive US ballistic missile sites may be guided by advanced artificial intelligence technology.

A second Chinese surveillance balloon was later spotted over Latin America, the Pentagon says, without specifying its exact location.

William Kim, a specialist in surveillance balloons at the Marathon Initiative think tank in Washington, told AFP that balloons are a valuable means of observation that are difficult to shoot down. — AFP

February 4, 2023

Beijing says Saturday that US media and politicians had taken advantage of US allegations that China flew an espionage balloon over the northwest United States.

The discovery of the balloon prompted US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday to cancel a rare planned trip to Beijing. 

Moments before the decision to scrap the visit -- aimed at easing tensions between the two countries -- China issued a rare statement of regret and blamed winds for pushing what it called a civilian airship into US airspace. — AFP

February 4, 2023

Pentagon says a second Chinese balloon was seen "transiting" Latin America.

February 3, 2023

China says Friday it was working to verify the facts around US claims that Beijing flew a spy balloon over its territory, warning against "hype" over the issue.

"Verification is under way" over the reports, foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning told a regular briefing, adding that "until the facts are clear, making conjectures and hyping up the issue will not help to properly resolve it." — AFP

February 3, 2023

The United States will temporarily extend tariff exemptions for some medical products from China, while it seeks public comment on whether such relief should continue, the US Trade Representative says.

These exclusions cover 81 medical-care products, and the exemptions stem from the US battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The current exclusions were originally scheduled to expire on February 28 and will now last through to mid-May, says the USTR in a statement.

"USTR is requesting public comments on whether to extend particular exclusions for Covid-related products for up to six months," the statement adds.

The temporary extension until May allows for consideration of these public comments. — AFP

February 2, 2023

The United States has reopened its embassy in the Solomon Islands Thursday after a 30-year hiatus, part of a bid to counter China's growing influence in the South Pacific.

Re-establishing the diplomatic outpost was a renewal "of our commitment to the people of Solomon Islands and our partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region", US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says in a statement.

The US closed its embassy in the capital Honiara in 1993 after the end of the Cold War led to a reduction in diplomatic posts and a shift in priorities.

Washington signaled its intent to reopen it in early 2022, before the Solomons signed a secret security pact with China.

The deal, penned by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and Beijing, sparked fears among Western powers that the Solomons could provide China with a new foothold in the Pacific. — AFP

December 22, 2022

The United States is flouting international trade rules by labeling imports from Hong Kong as those from China, the World Trade Organization ruled Wednesday, an outcome that Washington rejects.

The WTO ruling addressed a decision under former president Donald Trump's administration after Beijing imposed a sweeping security law on the financial hub in 2020 to stamp out dissent.

Trump retaliated by removing special trading privileges for the city and US customs authorities later said goods produced there could no longer be stamped "Made in Hong Kong", sparking the complaint.

Hong Kong argued that such a move ignored its status as a separate member of the WTO, violating trade rules.

On Wednesday, a panel set up by the WTO's dispute settlement body said that the origin marking requirement was "not justified" under global trade rules.

It added that the US "has not demonstrated that the situation at issue constitutes an emergency in international relations". -- AFP

December 16, 2022

A US watchdog says that it secured "complete access" to inspect Chinese audit firms for the first time, temporarily easing delisting fears for many Chinese companies on American stock exchanges.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's announcement came amid worries that Chinese firms could be taken off United States stock exchanges if they did not comply with audit requirements -- a demand that places around 200 businesses at risk.

The statement marks a breakthrough in a longstanding dispute. — AFP

November 27, 2022

China has donated $100 million to Cuba to help it survive a crippling economic crisis exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, the island nation's Deputy Prime Minister Alejandro Gil said Saturday.

The donation came as Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel concluded a visit to China, part of a rare foreign trip.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Diaz-Canel met on Friday and "the offer arose of a donation of around $100 million by China," Gil told Cuban state television.

Gil, who is also Cuba's economy minister, said the money would go toward "priorities" on the island, which has been rocked by its worst economic crisis in three decades.

-- AFP

November 26, 2022

US authorities announces a ban on the import or sale of communications equipment deemed "an unacceptable risk to national security" -- including gear from Chinese giants Huawei Technologies and ZTE.

Both firms have been on a roster of companies listed as a threat by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the new rules bar future authorizations of their equipment.

The move is the latest in a series of actions to limit the access of Chinese telecoms firms in United States networks, and comes amid a long-running standoff between the world's two biggest economies. — AFP

November 19, 2022

Chinese President Xi Jinping and US Vice President Kamala Harris call for open communication during a brief meeting on Saturday, days after his extensive talks with President Joe Biden. 

Harris spoke to the Chinese leader as they entered a retreat in Bangkok during a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, a White House official says.

The vice president reinforced Biden's message that "we must maintain open lines of communication to responsibly manage the competition between our countries", the official said on condition of anonymity. — AFP

November 15, 2022

The United States is pressing China and other G20 members to do more on debt relief for the world's poorest countries, a senior US official says.

The issue will be highlighted in the final joint statement when the summit in the Indonesian resort island of Bali ends this week, the official said, but there will not be unanimity.

"What you're going to see in the G20 statement is that 19 members of the G20 came together to say this is a core, first-order issue that we need to take collective action with respect to, and you'll see that, you know, one country is still blocking progress," the official says, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He would not name the hold-out country but this appeared likely to be China, a massive creditor to poor countries around the world in a policy that Western countries have condemned as "debt traps" used to tighten Beijing's grip on the global economy.

The official mentioned similar opposition to joint agreement on restructuring such debts at the October meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. — AFP

November 14, 2022

US President Joe Biden meets China's Xi Jinping in Bali on Monday hoping to set "guardrails" for relations between the countries, as the world's 20 largest economies hold their first major post-pandemic summit.

The superpower sitdown will be Biden's first in-person summit with Xi since taking office. The pair last met in 2017, when Biden was vice president.

The leaders meet with rivalry between the world's top two economies intensifying sharply and with Beijing becoming more powerful and more assertive about replacing the US-led order that has prevailed since World War II.

The talks on the margins of the G20 have the air of the icy Cold War conclaves between American and Soviet leaders at Potsdam, Vienna or Yalta that decided the fate of millions.

Biden has spoken about the meeting establishing each country's "red lines".

The overarching goal will be setting "guardrails" and "clear rules of the road", a senior White House official told reporters hours before the meeting. -- AFP

November 12, 2022

The White House says US President Joe Biden plans to tell Xi Jinping that China should restrain North Korea's 'worst tendencies'. — AFP

October 27, 2022

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says China has rejected the longstanding status quo on Taiwan, reiterating an assessment that Beijing is speeding up its timeline to take the island.

His remarks came after Chinese President Xi Jinping secured a historic third term and Taiwan predicted intensifying pressure on the diplomatic front.

Blinken says that the four-decade status quo -- in which the United States recognizes only Beijing but offers the island weapons for its own defense -- has "helped to make sure there wouldn't be a conflict between the United States and China over Taiwan."

"What's changed is this -- a decision by the government in Beijing that that status quo was no longer acceptable, that they wanted to speed up the process by which they would pursue reunification," Blinken told an event at Bloomberg News. — AFP

October 25, 2022

Two alleged Chinese intelligence officers were charged in New York Monday after the FBI used a double agent to document their apparent efforts to interfere in the US prosecution of a major telecommunications company.

The Justice Department charged He Guochun and Wang Zheng with obstruction of justice, and He with money laundering, after they allegedly paid a US informant they believed they had recruited $61,000 worth of bitcoin to supply internal documents related to the case against the company.

The indictment did not name the company, calling it a global telecommunications firm based in China.

The details of the case are similar to that of Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant charged in 2019 with stealing trade secrets, sanctions evasion and other counts. — AFP

October 20, 2022

The US military must be ready to respond to a potential invasion of Taiwan as soon as this year, a senior admiral said Wednesday, signaling heightened alarm over Beijing's intentions towards the island.

Admiral Michael Gilday, chief of US naval operations, is the latest senior official in Washington to raise concerns that China's President Xi Jinping may be much more willing than previously thought to seize Taiwan. 

His comments came as Taiwan's top security official warned any attempt to invade the island would fail and turn China into an international pariah. 

Xi is on the cusp of securing a third five-year term at the helm of the world's most populous nation, delivering a landmark Communist Party Congress speech on Sunday where he restated his vow to one day "reunify," or forcefully take, Taiwan. — AFP

October 6, 2022

Western countries trying to pass an unprecedented resolution at the UN's top rights body targeting China for widespread abuses were scrambling Thursday for votes and bracing for possible defeat.

Washington last month presented the first-ever draft resolution to the UN Human Rights Council seeking a "debate" on Xinjiang after allegations of crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the far-western region.

It was co-sponsored by Britain, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Australia and Lithuania and is expected to go to a council vote later Thursday in Geneva.

But after weeks of frenzied lobbying from both sides, Western diplomats appeared to be bracing that the resolution will not pass in the 47-member council.

"It's going to be a very tight vote," a Western diplomat acknowledged, stressing though that even if the resolution failed, the debate has put the spotlight on Xinjiang.

"The number one objective has been fulfilled," the diplomat said. -- AFP

October 4, 2022

Solomon Islands said Tuesday it had objected to the first draft of a US-Pacific partnership declaration because it was "not comfortable" with some indirect references to China.

The Solomons' foreign minister, Jeremiah Manele, was quizzed by reporters in New Zealand about his country's reported qualms over the joint statement, signed in Washington last week.

"In the initial draft there were some references that we were not comfortable with," the foreign minister said.

These "put us in a position that we have to choose sides and we don't want to be placed in a position that we have to choose sides", Manele said.

Asked if those references were to China, he replied: "Indirectly." — AFP

October 4, 2022

Solomon Islands says it had objected to the first draft of a US-Pacific partnership declaration because it was "not comfortable" with some indirect references to China.

The Solomons' foreign minister, Jeremiah Manele, was quizzed by reporters in New Zealand about his country's reported qualms over the joint statement, signed in Washington last week.

"In the initial draft there were some references that we were not comfortable with," the foreign minister says.

These "put us in a position that we have to choose sides and we don't want to be placed in a position that we have to choose sides", Manele says.

Asked if those references were to China, he replied: "Indirectly." — AFP

September 23, 2022

The top US and Chinese diplomats meet Friday in New York as soaring tensions show signs of easing, but Beijing issued a new warning against support for Taiwan.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi are set to meet on the sidelines of the annual United Nations summit, their first encounter since extensive talks in July in Bali where both sides appeared optimistic for more stability.

One month later, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, infuriating Beijing which staged exercises seen as a trial run for an invasion of the self-governing democracy.  — AFP

September 9, 2022

The United States begins a series of meetings with ministers from the Asia-Pacific in Los Angeles on Thursday at an economic summit aimed at countering China's growing influence in the region.

The two-day event is the first face-to-face meeting between members of the new Indo-Pacific Economic Prosperity Framework (IPEF), an initiative launched in May by US President Joe Biden. 

With this new trade partnership, the Biden administration hopes to reinforce its presence in a region that felt cold-shouldered under former president Donald Trump.

Trump's isolationist "America First" policy saw him yank the United States from the Asia-focused trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a move criticised as ceding ground to China in an economically crucial part of the world.

"It's past time for the United States to have an affirmative concrete economic vision in the region," US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo says at the opening of the summit, noting that the 14 members of the alliance account for more than 40 percent of global GDP. — AFP

August 30, 2022

Solomon Islands has suspended all visits from the United States Navy, the US embassy in Canberra said Tuesday, heightening concerns over the growing influence of Beijing in the region.

"The United States received formal notification from the Government of Solomon Islands regarding a moratorium on all naval visits, pending updates in protocol procedures," an embassy spokeswoman said in a statement. 

It comes a week after a US coast guard vessel was blocked from refuelling in the Solomons capital of Honiara. — AFP

August 5, 2022

China says it is ending cooperation with US on multiple issues.

August 5, 2022

US will "not allow" China to isolate Taiwan, says US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

August 3, 2022

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi departed Taiwan on Wednesday evening, ending a controversial landmark visit that Beijing responded to with threats and military drills.

The 82-year-old lawmaker waved to waiting dignitaries at Taipei's Songshan airport before boarding a US military aircraft that took off at 6pm (1000 GMT), live broadcasts showed.  --  AFP

August 2, 2022

China warns that the United States will "pay the price" if US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan, as tensions between Beijing and Washington soar.

"The US side will bear the responsibility and pay the price for undermining China's sovereign security interests," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying says at a regular press briefing. — AFP

August 2, 2022

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, Malaysian state media reported, her second stop in an Asian tour that has sparked rage in Beijing over a possible stop in Taiwan.

Beijing views Taiwan as its territory and has indicated through repeated warnings that it would view the visit as a major provocation.

Pelosi landed at a Malaysian air force base ahead of meetings with the prime minister and the speaker of the lower house of parliament, state news agency Bernama reported.

After Singapore and Malaysia, her itinerary includes stops in South Korea and Japan -- but the prospect of a Taiwan visit has dominated attention. -- AFP

August 2, 2022

The White House warns China against overreacting to a trip by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, saying she would have every right to visit the self-ruled island despite Beijing viewing it as a highly provocative challenge.

China need not turn any visit by Pelosi into a "crisis," White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby tells reporters, even as he warned that Beijing may be "positioning" itself for a show of military strength around the island.

Media reports have said that Pelosi, currently on an official Asia tour, will stop off in Taiwan and meet President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday -- if so, the highest-level US visit to Taipei in decades. — AFP

August 1, 2022

Thousands of Indonesian and American troops began a two-week joint military exercise on Monday that Washington said aims to advance "regional cooperation in support of a free and open" Asia-Pacific region.

The US and its Asian allies have expressed growing concern about China's increasing assertiveness in the Pacific, but Washington said the drills were not aimed at any country even though they would be significantly larger than previous exercises.

At least 4,000 US and Indonesian soldiers will be joined by forces from Australia and Singapore -- as well as Japan, which is participating for the first time in the annual drills, known as "Super Garuda Shield".

The exercise is taking place on the western Indonesian island of Sumatra and the Riau islands, an Indonesian province of islets scattered near Singapore and Malaysia.

"This is really an exercise to build trust, build togetherness, mutual understanding, increase capability and other related matters," Major General Stephen Smith, commander of the participating US troops, told reporters in Jakarta on Friday.

"So this is really a military exercise and not a threat to any party."  — AFP

July 29, 2022

President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agree to schedule their first in-person summit during a sometimes tense phone call where Xi warned the United States not to "play with fire" in Taiwan.

Although this was their fifth phone or video call since Biden took office a year and a half ago, the summit would be their first in-person meeting as leaders. No detail was given on the timing or location.

Biden and Xi "discussed the value of meeting face-to-face and agreed to have their teams follow up to find a mutually agreeable time to do so," a US official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. — AFP

July 9, 2022

The top diplomats from the United States and China voice guarded hope of preventing tensions from spiralling out of control as they held rare talks on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Neither side expected major breakthroughs between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, but the two powers have moderated their tone and stepped up interaction at a time when the West is focused on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"In a relationship as complex and consequential as the one between the United States and China, there is a lot to talk about," Blinken says as he opens discussions at a resort hotel in Bali, where the pair attended a Group of 20 gathering the day before. — AFP

June 14, 2022

The top Chinese and US security advisers have held lengthy talks, with both sides describing them as "candid" following days of acrimonious exchanges over Taiwan and other flashpoint issues.

Readouts of the meeting in Luxembourg on Monday were toned down compared with last week, when China's defence minister warned his country would not "hesitate to start a war" over Taiwan, while the US defense secretary blasted Beijing's "provocative, destabilising" military activity.

But US security advisor Jake Sullivan and top diplomat Yang Jiechi did not indicate any compromise on their core points of disagreement, especially Taiwan. China considers the self-ruled island a part of its territory, to be seized by force one day if necessary.

"The Taiwan question concerns the political foundation of China-US relations which, unless handled properly, will have a subversive impact," Yang was quoted as saying by China's official Xinhua news agency.

"The United States should not have any misjudgements or illusions (about Taiwan)." — AFP

June 11, 2022

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin blasts China's "provocative, destabilizing" military activity near Taiwan, as well as Beijing's growing aggression across the wider Asia-Pacific region. 

Tensions between Washington and Beijing are soaring over democratic, self-ruled Taiwan, which China views as its territory and has vowed to seize one day, by force if necessary.

Beijing has conducted dozens of incursions into Taiwan's air defense zone this year, and on Friday, Defence Minister Wei Fenghe warned Austin that China was prepared to go to war if the island declares independence. — AFP

June 2, 2022

China hit out at trade talks between the United States and Taiwan, a commerce ministry official said Thursday, a day after Washington launched an initiative with Taipei aimed at deepening economic ties.

"China firmly opposes this," commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters, adding that Beijing "opposes any form of official exchanges between any country and the Taiwan region of China". — AFP

May 29, 2022

The United States expresses concern over China's "efforts to restrict and manipulate" the UN Human Rights chief's visit to the Xinjiang region, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

"The United States remains concerned about the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and her team's visit to the People's Republic of China (PRC) and PRC efforts to restrict and manipulate her visit," Blinken says in a statement.

"We are concerned the conditions Beijing authorities imposed on the visit did not enable a complete and independent assessment of the human rights environment in the PRC, including in Xinjiang, where genocide and crimes against humanity are ongoing." — AFP

May 27, 2022

China's foreign ministry on Friday accuses US Secretary of State Antony Blinken of "smearing" the country after the American official delivered a speech calling for action to counterbalance Beijing's influence.

Blinken's speech "spreads false information, exaggerates the China threat, interferes in China's internal affairs, and smears China's domestic and foreign policies", ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin says at a regular press conference. — AFP

May 26, 2022

The United States warns South Pacific nations to be wary of "shadowy" agreements with China, which has put forth a package to expand cooperation dramatically.

"We are concerned that these reported agreements may be negotiated in a rushed, non-transparent process," State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

While saying that the Pacific nations would make their own sovereign choices, Price said that China "has a pattern of offering shadowy, vague deals with little transparency or regional consultation." — AFP

March 29, 2022

The US Senate votes to greenlight a multibillion-dollar bill aimed at jumpstarting high-tech research and manufacturing, countering China's growing influence and easing a global shortage of computer chips.

The legislation is the upper chamber's version of the House's America Competes bill that passed in February. Lawmakers are expected to start negotiations between both parties in the House and Senate to marry the different texts. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the long-stalled legislation would be "one of the most important accomplishments of the 117th Congress." — AFP

March 22, 2022

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announces new visa restrictions on Chinese officials Monday for their actions to repress ethnic and religious minorities both inside and outside the country.

In a statement, which provided no specific details on which officials would be targeted, Blinken also reiterates a call for China to "end its ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity" in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

Xinjiang is in the grip of a years-long "anti-terrorism" campaign that has seen more than a million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities detained in a sprawling network of "re-education" camps, according to rights groups. — AFP

March 19, 2022

Chinese state TV reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping said Friday that Beijing and Washington should "shoulder our due international responsibilities" during a call with his US counterpart Joe Biden.

Relations between the world's top two economies should "move forward along the right track" as part of efforts for "world peace and tranquillity", state broadcaster CCTV reports Xi as saying, in the first call between the leaders since Russia invaded Ukraine. — AFP

February 17, 2022

Beijing dismisses the United States' assessment of China's World Trade Organization membership, saying its criticism had "no basis in international economic and trade rules".

Commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng notes that the US labelled China as non-market-oriented, but adds that "these remarks have no basis according to international economic and trade rules, and are completely inconsistent with the facts".

He also urges the US to ensure its trade tools "comply with WTO rules instead of waging unilateralism, protectionism, and bullying in the name of seeking a new strategy". — AFP

February 5, 2022

Diplomats say that China's UN ambassador called on the United States to be more flexible in its dealings with North Korea, as Beijing joined others to scrap a US-drafted Security Council joint statement condemning Pyongyang's missile launches.

Kim Jong Un's regime conducted an unprecedented seven weapons tests in January, including launching its most powerful missile since 2017 as it hinted it could restart long-range and nuclear testing.

Washington had proposed a statement decrying those launches, but China and Russia, along with other nations, refused to sign on to it, the diplomats told AFP. — AFP

December 29, 2021

Beijing accuses the United States of irresponsible and unsafe conduct in space over two "close encounters" between the Chinese space station and satellites operated by Elon Musk's SpaceX.

Tiangong, China's new space station, had to manoeuvre to avoid colliding with one Starlink satellite in July and with another in October, according to a note submitted by Beijing to the United Nations space agency this month.

The note said the incidents "constituted dangers to the life or health of astronauts aboard the China Space Station". — AFP

December 24, 2021

President Joe Biden signs a law virtually banning all imports from the Chinese region of Xinjiang in response to concerns over forced labor, as US companies find themselves caught in the diplomatic fray.

The bill, which was approved by Congress last week, bans the import of all goods from the region unless companies offer verifiable proof that production did not involve forced labor.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act sets its sights on three products in particular: cotton, of which Xinjiang is one of the world's major producers; tomatoes; and polysilicon, a material used to produce solar panels. — AFP

December 17, 2021

The United States unleashes a volley of actions to censure China's treatment of the Uyghur minority, with lawmakers voting to curb trade and new sanctions slapped on the world's top consumer drone maker.

The United States has ramped up pressure on China, with President Joe Biden's administration a day earlier targeting producers of painkillers that contributed to America's addiction crisis.

The US Senate unanimously voted to make the United States the first country to ban virtually all imports from China's Xinjiang region over forced labor concerns. — AFP

November 24, 2021

US President Joe Biden has invited Taiwan to a virtual summit on democracy alongside more than 100 countries — a move that sparked indignation from authoritarian China, which is not on the list.

Taiwan thanked Biden for the invitation and said the gathering would be a rare opportunity for the self-ruled democracy to burnish its credentials on the world stage. 

"Through this summit, Taiwan can share its democratic success story," Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang told reporters.

China said it "firmly opposed" the inclusion of an island it regards as "an inalienable part of Chinese territory". Beijing claims self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory to be re-taken one day, by force if necessary.

The global conference was a campaign pledge by the US president, who has placed the struggle between democracies and "autocratic governments" at the heart of his foreign policy.

The "Summit for Democracy" will take place online on December 9 and 10 ahead of an in-person meeting at its second edition next year.

The meeting was long advertised, but the guest list — published Tuesday on the State Department's website — will be closely scrutinized. — AFP

November 19, 2021

China's foreign ministry on Friday accuses the United States of violating the "Olympic spirit" after President Joe Biden said he was considering a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics over human rights abuses.

"Politicising sports is against the Olympic spirit, and harms the interests of athletes from all countries," foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian says at a briefing. — AFP

November 17, 2021

The United States and China have agreed to ease restrictions on journalist visas shortly after a long-awaited virtual summit between its two leaders, with Beijing on Wednesday calling the move a "hard-won" achievement.

Washington regularly denounces the deterioration in China's treatment of US media members, and has taken measures against Chinese media on US soil that have been accused of being Beijing's propaganda organs. 

In 2020, Beijing expelled Americans working for several major newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal as tensions soared between the two countries. — AFP

November 17, 2021

The United States reports progress in talks with Chinese authorities on improving working conditions and access for US journalists in China.

A State Department spokesman says Tuesday that discussions in recent months had led to "some initial progress" in "a few areas" of the media environment. 

"We welcome this progress but see it simply as initial steps," the State Department official says, adding that Washington would continue to push for "expanding access and improving conditions for US and other foreign media," and for broader freedom of the press in general. — AFP

November 16, 2021

The state media says Chinese President Xi Jinping warned Joe Biden that US support for Taiwanese independence would be "like playing with fire" as the two held a long-awaited video call.

"Taiwanese authorities have repeatedly tried to 'rely on the US for independence'," Xi was quoted as saying by state media agency Xinhua, adding: "Some people in the US intend to 'use Taiwan to control China'. This trend is very dangerous and is like playing with fire, and those who play with fire will get burned." — AFP

November 16, 2021

Joe Biden and China's Xi Jinping kick off a high-stakes virtual summit on Monday aimed at calming tensions over Taiwan and other flashpoints, with the US president saying the rivals should seek to avoid "conflict." 

Opening the meeting from the White House, Biden tells Xi they need "guardrails" to prevent any US-China "conflict," and adds that he hopes the leaders of the two largest economies would have a "candid and forthright discussion."

The two leaders have spoken by phone twice since Biden's inauguration in January but with Xi refusing to travel abroad because of the pandemic, an online video meeting was the only option short of an in-person summit. — AFP

November 12, 2021

US President Joe Biden is expected to hold a hotly awaited virtual summit with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Monday, US media reported, as tensions mount over Taiwan, human rights and trade. 

Both CNN and Politico, citing unnamed sources, said the meeting was tentatively scheduled for Monday.

Relations between the world's two largest economies have deteriorated in recent weeks, in particular over Taiwan, a self-ruling democracy claimed by China, which last month made a record number of air incursions near the island. — AFP

November 8, 2021

China has built what appear to be full-scale outlines of American warships including an aircraft carrier, satellite imagery showed, possible targets to practice striking some of the most potent US weapons deployed in the Pacific.

The US Navy's carrier battle groups — centered around massive aircraft carriers — are among the most powerful weapons in the American arsenal. 

One is deployed with the 7th Fleet in the Pacific, watching over major flashpoint areas such as Taiwan and the South China Sea.

China has been developing anti-ship missiles for years, including ones capable of taking out aircraft carriers.

In satellite images captured last month by Maxar Technologies and sent to AFP on Sunday, huge outlines of American naval vessels were seen in the Taklamakan Desert in China's western Xinjiang region.

They included at least one shaped like an aircraft carrier, and another in the form of a destroyer. One target was seen mounted on a rail transportation system. — AFP

November 6, 2021

China is expanding its nuclear arsenal much more quickly than anticipated, the United States has said, but Beijing on Thursday slammed the Pentagon report as overhyping the threat.

The United States has declared China its principal security concern for the future, as Beijing works to build the People's Liberation Army into "world-class forces" by 2049, according to its official plan.

The People's Republic of China (PRC) could have 700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027, and could top 1,000 by 2030 -- an arsenal two-and-a-half times the size of what the Pentagon predicted only a year ago, according to the Pentagon report published Wednesday. — AFP

October 31, 2021

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet Sunday in Rome with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the State Department said, in only their second face to face session amid acute tensions between the two powers.

The meeting in Rome, where both diplomats were attending the G20 summit, is listed on Blinken's public schedule for Sunday.

It will be the first between Blinken and Wang since a stormy session in Alaska back in March during which the Chinese delegation berated the American side as TV cameras rolled.

Tensions are high between the world's two biggest economies on a plethora of fronts, including trade, human rights, Taiwan and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this week Washington ordered China Telecom Americas to discontinue its services within 60 days — ending nearly two decades of operations in the country and piling further strain on relations between the two countries. — AFP

October 28, 2021

A ban by the United States to stop China Telecom from operating in the country on national security concerns is "malicious suppression", Beijing says, warning it would damage a tentative thaw in relations.

Tensions are high between the world's two biggest economies on a plethora of fronts, including trade, human rights, Taiwan and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this week Washington ordered China Telecom Americas to discontinue its services within 60 days -- ending nearly 20 years of operations in the country and piling further strain on relations between the superpowers. — AFP

October 17, 2021

China has tested a new space capability with a hypersonic missile, the Financial Times reported on Saturday. 

The report, citing multiple sources familiar with the test, said Beijing in August launched a nuclear-capable missile that circled the Earth at low orbit before descending toward its target, which three sources said it missed by over 32 kilometers.

FT sources said the hypersonic glide vehicle was carried by a Long March rocket, launches of which it usually announces, though the August test was kept under wraps.  

The report added that China's progress on hypersonic weapons "caught US intelligence by surprise."

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said he would not comment on the specifics of the report but added: "We have made clear our concerns about the military capabilities China continues to pursue, capabilities that only increase tensions in the region and beyond. That is one reason why we hold China as our number one pacing challenge." — AFP

October 9, 2021

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai speaks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to discuss Chinese commercial practices that Washington deems unfair.

This was the second consultation between the chief trade negotiators from the world's two biggest economies after relations were damaged under former US president Donald Trump. The two last spoke in May.

"During their candid exchange, Ambassador Tai and Vice Premier Liu acknowledged the importance of the bilateral trade relationship and the impact that it has not only on the United States and China but also the global economy," the USTR says in a statement. — AFP

October 6, 2021

The United States announces it will take public comments regarding exclusions from its tariffs on China as President Joe Biden's administration grapples with what it views as Beijing's failure to honor a trade deal.

US Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai had the day prior announced Washington would seek "frank conversations" with China over its adherence to a 2020 agreement meant to cool commercial tensions between the two economic powers.

That deal comes after Biden's predecessor Donald Trump imposed tariffs on $370 billion of Chinese products in 2018, citing trade practices Washington deemed "unfair." — AFP

September 10, 2021

Chinese President Xi Jinping told his American counterpart that US policies towards Beijing have caused "serious difficulties" and that putting ties back on track was critical "to the destiny of the world", state media reports Friday.

Ties between Beijing and Washington have been strained in recent years by a bruising trade war and America's tough stand on China's human rights track record — while competition over tech dominance and disputes over the origins of the coronavirus have further sullied relations.

In "candid, in-depth" talks with Biden, Xi warned that confrontation between the world's top economies "would spell disaster for both countries and the world". — AFP

July 20, 2021

The United States on Monday accused Beijing of carrying out a massive hack of Microsoft and charged four Chinese nationals as it rallied allies in rare joint condemnation of "malicious" cyber activity from China.

In comments likely to further strain worsening relations between Washington and Beijing, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the March hack of Microsoft Exchange, a top email server for corporations around the world, was part of a "pattern of irresponsible, disruptive and destabilizing behavior in cyberspace, which poses a major threat to our economic and national security."

China's Ministry of State Security, or MSS, "has fostered an ecosystem of criminal contract hackers who carry out both state-sponsored activities and cybercrime for their own financial gain," Blinken said in a statement.

In a simultaneous announcement, the US Department of Justice said four Chinese nationals had been charged with hacking the computers of dozens of companies, universities and government bodies in the United States and abroad between 2011 and 2018. — AFP

June 30, 2021

The United States and Taiwan on Wednesday restarted trade talks after five years as Washington moves to boost its ties with the island despite China's objections.

The talks resumed after the two sides reconvened the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council, which under former US president Barack Obama was in charge of finding ways to deepen commercial relations.

The council last met in 2016 before the election of Donald Trump, who switched gears and focused on reaching a mega-deal with China, although relations between Washington and Beijing deteriorated sharply by the end of his turbulent term. — AFP

June 9, 2021

The US Senate passed a sweeping industrial policy bill Tuesday aimed at countering a surging economic threat from rival China, overcoming partisan divisions to support pumping more than $170 billion into research and development.

The measure, which cleared the chamber on a 68-32 vote and now heads to the House of Representatives, is seen as crucial for US efforts to bolster competitiveness and avoid being out-maneuvered by Beijing as the adversaries compete in the race to technological advancement.

"This legislation will enable the United States to out-innovate, out-produce and out-compete the world in the industries of the future," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. — AFP

June 8, 2021

The United States will soon start discussing a trade deal with Taiwan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday, risking Beijing's wrath.

"I know we are engaged in conversations with Taiwan, or soon will be, on some kind of framework agreement," Blinken said at a congressional hearing in Washington.

"And those conversations should be starting," he stressed. 

He said that US Trade Representative Katherine Tai would be the one to offer any details on these future negotiations. 

The possibility of a US trade deal with Taiwan is likely to infuriate Beijing, which sees the democratic, self-ruled island as part of its territory which is to be seized one day, by force if necessary, and rages at any diplomatic attempts to recognize it as an independent nation.  — AFP

June 4, 2021

US President Joe Biden on Thursday expanded a blacklist of Chinese firms that are off-limits to American investors over their links to Beijing's "military-industrial complex," in a sign of Washington's continued pressure campaign against the Asian power.

Former president Donald Trump in November issued a list of 31 Chinese companies that were deemed to be supplying or supporting China's military and security apparatus, later adding even more firms.

But after legal challenges put the sanctions in doubt, Biden's team reviewed the blacklist, removing some names and ultimately expanding it to 59 firms that Americans are prohibited from having a stake in. Many are subsidiaries of companies already included.

The sanctions target companies involved in Chinese surveillance technology used to "facilitate repression or serious human rights abuses," which "undermine the security or democratic values of the United States and our allies," according to a White House statement. — AFP

May 27, 2021

Top US and Chinese trade officials have held their first "candid" talks since Joe Biden became president, the two sides said Thursday, as Washington scrutinises whether Beijing is sticking to a key agreement forged during a bruising tariffs battle between the economic superpowers.

Trade relations between the two will be a major plank in the new US leader's foreign and economic policy as he looks to maintain the pressure on China imposed by predecessor Donald Trump, while looking to tread a more diplomatic line.

The countries signed a so-called "phase one" pact in January last year, in which Beijing pledged to increase its purchases of American products and services by at least $200 billion through 2020 and 2021. —  AFP

May 27, 2021

Trade officials from the US and China have held "candid, pragmatic" talks, China's commerce ministry says, their first discussions under the Biden era as Washington scrutinises whether Beijing is holding up its end of a trade pact.

A bruising trade war under President Donald Trump saw punitive tariffs lumped on a range of goods sold between the world's two biggest economies.

The two countries signed a so-called "phase one" agreement in January 2020, in which Beijing pledged to increase its purchases of American products and services by at least $200 billion over 2020 and 2021. — AFP

April 15, 2021

US climate envoy John Kerry met with his Chinese counterparts in Shanghai on Thursday, in the first visit to China by an official from a Biden administration seeking to re-establish America's leadership on the environment.

The trip is seen as a chance to put aside high political tensions — following a heated initial meeting last month between diplomats in the US — and focus on areas of potential climate collaboration.

The two sides clashed in Alaska over accusations about China's policies in Hong Kong and its treatment of Uyghurs in the northwestern Xinjiang region, criticisms China rejects as interference in its domestic affairs. —  AFP

March 23, 2021

The US Treasury Department placed sanctions Monday on two senior Chinese officials for what it called "serious human rights abuses" against Uighurs and other minorities in the country's Xinjiang region.

"Chinese authorities will continue to face consequences as long as atrocities occur in Xinjiang," said Andrea Gacki, the Treasury official overseeing the sanctions program.

The sanctions targeted Wang Junzheng, the secretary of the Chinese Communist Party committee of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), and Chen Mingguo, director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau. —  AFP

March 20, 2021

State news agency Xinhua reports that top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi said the first talks between Beijing and US President Joe Biden's administration were "candid, constructive and helpful," but warned that differences remain.

The two days of talks between the world's top two economies, held in Alaska on Thursday and Friday, began in acrimony, with both delegations launching broadsides over human rights and geopolitical ambitions. — AFP

March 19, 2021

The United States accuses Chinese diplomatic leaders of "grandstanding," with a focus on "public theatrics and dramatics over substance" Thursday at the opening of the first high-level meeting between Washington and Beijing since US President Joe Biden's election.

A senior US official criticizes Beijing as having "arrived intent on grandstanding, focused on public theatrics and dramatics over substance" at the Alaska summit.

The official says this was made clear by the top Chinese Communist Party diplomat Yang Jiechi "promptly violating protocol" with a long opening statement instead of a previously agreed upon short two-minute speech. —  AFP

March 19, 2021

The United States does not want conflict with China but welcomes tough competition with its strategic rival, President Joe Biden's national security advisor says Thursday in Alaska at the opening of a meeting with top Chinese diplomats. 

"We do not seek conflict, but we welcome stiff competition. And we will always stand up for our principles for our people, and for our friends," Jake Sullivan warns in Anchorage. —  AFP

March 15, 2021

Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin arrived in Japan on Monday, as he and top US diplomat Antony Blinken began their first overseas trip, looking to rally key Asian allies as a bulwark to China.

The pair, who travelled separately, will meet in Japan for the first leg of their trip, holding talks with their counterparts as well as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

They will both continue on to South Korea, before Defense Secretary Austin heads separately to India and Secretary of State Blinken holds talks back in the United States with Chinese officials.

President Joe Biden's team has been deliberately slow to start the usually hectic pace of diplomatic travel that marks a new administration, hoping to set an example discouraging travel during the pandemic.

But the administration has also made clear it wants to reset US relations with the rest of the world, particularly traditional allies, after the tumult of the Donald Trump era. — AFP

January 18, 2021

China on Monday likens outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to a "praying mantis" in a colourful condemnation of the latest US sanctions sparked by the mass arrest of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists.

Pompeo, one of the Trump administration's most vociferous China hawks, has spent his final days in office unveiling a host of measures targeting Beijing ahead of Wednesday's inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Among them was fresh sanctions on six officials — including Hong Kong's sole representative to China's top lawmaking body — in response to the recent arrest of 55 democracy activists under a new security law.

"Hong Kong's development from chaos to stability is unstoppable," Beijing's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office says in its first response to the sanctions on Monday. --  AFP

January 15, 2021

The US government ramps up sanctions and restrictions on Chinese firms over Beijing's actions in the disputed South China Sea, and the security threat posed by technology.

In a wide ranging series of steps unveiled in the waning days of President Donald Trump's administration, Washington targets state oil giant CNOOC and announced regulations on tech firms including embattled social media favorite TikTok. — AFP

January 8, 2021

China warns the United States would pay a "heavy price" if its United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft made good on plans to travel to Taiwan next week.

Democratic and self-ruled Taiwan lives under the constant threat of invasion by authoritarian China, which views the island as its own territory and has vowed to seize it one day, by force if necessary. — AFP

January 8, 2021

China on Thursday threatened that the United States would pay a "heavy price" if the country's United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft kept plans to travel to Taiwan in the coming days, as announced by the US State Department.

"The United States will pay a heavy price for its wrong action," a statement from the Chinese mission to the UN said. 

"China strongly urges the United States to stop its crazy provocation, stop creating new difficulties for China-US relations and the two countries' cooperation in the United Nations, and stop going further on the wrong path." — AFP

January 7, 2021

The New York Stock Exchange reverses course again, saying it would delist three Chinese telecom equities from trading due to new US government guidance.

Meanwhile, Washington is considering adding Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba and tech giant Tencent to the blacklist, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The latest flip-flop by the NYSE, which will remove China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom, reverts the exchange back to its original policy announced last week. —  AFP

January 5, 2021

The New York Stock Exchange abandonw plans to delist three state-owned Chinese telecom companies, reversing a decision that further dented already strained relations between the world's two superpowers.

"NYSE Regulation no longer intends to move forward with the delisting action," the stock exchange says in a statement, adding the decision came after "further consultation with relevant regulatory authorities". — AFP

December 7, 2020

Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian hits the article of Acting US Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller titled “Rules (not might) make right in SCS” which was full of “groundless accusations” against China.

"It is the US that has taken provocative actions increasingly, with the purpose of destabilizing the SCS and hijacking regional countries onto its chariot to serve its own domestic politics and geopolitical agenda," Huang says.


Truth is Truth to the End of Reckoning I read the article titled “Rules (not might) make right in SCS”written by the...

Posted by Chinese Embassy Manila on Monday, 7 December 2020
December 7, 2020

US and Chinese companies dominated the global arms market in 2019, while the Middle East made its first appearance among the 25 biggest weapons manufacturers, a report by the SIPRI research institute said Monday.

The US arms industry accounted for 61% of sales by the world's "Top 25" manufacturers last year, ahead of China's 15.7%, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Total sales by the "Top 25" rose by 8.5% to $361 billion, or 50 times the annual budget of the UN's peacekeeping operations.

Six US companies and three Chinese firms were in the top 10, rounded out by Britain's BAE Systems in seventh spot.

"China and the United States are the two biggest states in terms of global arms spending, with companies cut to size," Lucie Beraud-Sudreau, director of SIPRI's arms and military expenditure programme, told AFP. — AFP

December 5, 2020

US terminates China-funded exchange programs as "propaganda tools."

November 17, 2020

Chinese telecom giant Huawei announced Tuesday it has sold its Honor budget phone line to a domestic consortium, a move it said was necessary to keep the brand alive amid "tremendous" supply chain pressures caused by US sanctions. 

Honor has been purchased by a group of 40 companies comprised of agents, distributors and other businesses dependent on the brand's survival, Huawei and the consortium said in separate statements. — AFP

November 13, 2020

US President Donald Trump signed an order Thursday that will ban Americans from investing in Chinese firms that could help Beijing's military and security apparatus.

The executive order said the Chinese government obliges private firms to support these activities and through capital markets "exploits United States investors to finance the development and modernization of its military."

The ban takes effect January 11, just days before Trump's presidency ends, and is the latest move in increasingly tense US relations with the Asian power.

Investors have until November 11, 2021 to divest any holdings in the banned companies, according to the order. — AFP

November 10, 2020

The United States has imposed sanctions on four more officials accused of curbing freedoms in Hong Kong, vowing accountability over China's clampdown in the city.

Edwina Lau, head of the National Security Division of the Hong Kong Police Force, was among the officials who will be barred from traveling to the United States and whose US-based assets, if any, will be frozen.

"These actions underscore US resolve to hold accountable key figures that are actively eviscerating the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and undermining Hong Kong's autonomy," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Monday.

Other officials hit by the latest sanctions include Li Jiangzhou, deputy director of a Hong Kong office for "safeguarding national security."

The United States has already imposed similar sanctions on Hong Kong's top leader, Carrie Lam, who is an ally of Beijing.

Lam has tried to downplay the impact but acknowledged that she had trouble with a credit card after the sanctions. — AFP

October 23, 2020

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday warned of China's military resolve to defeat "invaders", speaking on a 70th anniversary for the Korean War, the only time Chinese forces have fought the United States.

In a long speech, heavy on patriotism and flecked by anecdotes of heroism by Chinese forces, Xi said victory in the 1950-53 conflict was a reminder that his nation stood ready to fight anyone "creating trouble... on China's doorstep".

Beijing frequently uses war anniversaries to fire thinly covered warnings to the US of the military strength of the "new China".

The Korean War is a key foundation story for the ruling Communist Party.

Friday's anniversary comes as the party is called out by US President Donald Trump, in a bitter row spanning trade, tech, human rights and the status of Taiwan, which China says is an inviolable part of the mainland. — AFP

October 15, 2020

A US warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait in what the American military described as a "routine" passage Wednesday, but enraging China, which claims sovereignty over the island and surrounding seas.

Ties between Beijing and Washington have deteriorated in recent months, over issues including trade and Hong Kong, with the self-ruled island of Taiwan a long-running source of tension.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Barry passed through the Strait on October 14, according to a statement by the US Pacific Fleet.

"The ship's transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific," the statement says. —

September 28, 2020

Europe and the United States need to face up to a "new Cold War with China" together, regardless of who wins the White House in November, Germany's point man on transatlantic ties told AFP.

With just five weeks to go until the US election, the German government's coordinator for relations with the United States and Canada, Peter Beyer, insisted there were more shared interests than differences.

"Europe has got to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the US to face the huge challenge of China," he said.

"The new Cold War between the United States and China has already begun and will shape this century." — AFP

September 22, 2020

US President Donald Trump tells the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that China must be held accountable by the world for its actions over the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a recorded message played to the annual meeting of the UN, Trump accused Beijing of allowing the coronavirus to "leave China and infect the world."

"The United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions," he said. — AFP

September 19, 2020

China says it had officially implemented a mechanism enabling it to restrict foreign entities, a much-anticipated move seen as retaliation to US penalties against Chinese companies such as telecom giant Huawei.

An announcement by the Ministry of Commerce did not mention any specific foreign entities, but broadly spelled out the factors that could trigger punitive measures, which may include fines, restriction of business activities and investment in China, and the entry of personnel or equipment into the country.

The launch of China's "unreliable entities list" ups the ante in the escalating commercial fight with the Trump administration, which has used its own "entity list" to bar Huawei from the US market on national security grounds. — AFP 

September 14, 2020

The US ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, is stepping down, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday.

Thanking Branstad for his service, Pompeo said in a tweet that he had "contributed to rebalancing U.S.-China relations so that it (sic) is results-oriented, reciprocal, and fair."

The former two-term Iowa governor, 73, had been in the post since May 2017, representing Washington in Beijing during a period of strained ties with China, marked by tensions over trade, regional territorial claims, the coronavirus pandemic, and unrest in Hong Kong.

The reasons for the ambassador's departure were not immediately clear. — AFP

September 10, 2020

The United States has revoked visas of more than 1,000 Chinese students and researchers under an order by President Donald Trump that accused some of them of espionage, the State Department said Wednesday.

Trump, in a May 29 proclamation as tensions rose with Beijing on multiple fronts, declared that some Chinese nationals officially in the United States for study have stolen intellectual property and helped modernize China's military.

The State Department, offering its first figures on the effects of Trump's order, said that more than 1,000 visas have been revoked since it began implementing the proclamation on June 1. -- AFP

August 27, 2020

Beijing on Thursday slammed Washington's "tyrannical logic" over the latest US sanctions targeting Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea, worsening tensions between the two superpowers.

In recent years, China has aggressively pursued its territorial claims in the South China Sea, building small shoals and reefs into military bases with airstrips and port facilities.

Both the US and Chinese militaries have recently ramped up their actions in the region, raising tensions between the two.

The US on Wednesday announced sanctions on two dozen Chinese companies and associated unnamed officials for taking part in building artificial islands in disputed waters. — AFP

August 18, 2020

TikTok has stepped up its defense against US accusations that the popular video app is a national security threat, denouncing what it called "rumors and misinformation" about its links to the Chinese government.

The video-snippet sharing service launched an online information hub on Monday after President Donald Trump gave its Chinese parent firm a 90-day deadline to divest TikTok before the app is banned in the United States.

A previous executive order, prohibiting US entities from doing business with TikTok, will take effect 45 days after August 6.

On a web page titled "The Last Sunny Corner of the Internet," TikTok maintained it was setting the record straight about the platform.

"TikTok has never provided any US user data to the Chinese government, nor would it do so if asked," the company said in the post. — AFP

August 10, 2020

China on Monday sanctioned 11 Americans, including senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, in retaliation for similar US moves against Chinese officials over Beijing's crackdown in Hong Kong.

"China has decided to impose sanctions on some people that behaved badly on Hong Kong-related issues," foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Monday, with Human Rights Watch director Kenneth Roth and National Endowment for Democracy president Carl Gershman also on the list.

Washington had announced on Friday it was freezing the US assets of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and 10 other senior Chinese officials, in the toughest US action on Hong Kong since China imposed a sweeping new security law on the territory. — AFP

July 27, 2020

Chinese authorities took over the United States consulate in Chengdu on Monday, the foreign ministry said, days after Beijing ordered it to close in retaliation for the shuttering of its mission in Houston.

Earlier in the morning state broadcaster CCTV showed footage of the American flag being lowered, after diplomatic tensions soared between the two powers with both alleging the other had endangered national security.

Beijing later confirmed the consulate had closed at 10am (0200 GMT).

"Afterwards, Chinese authorities entered through the front entrance and took it over," the foreign ministry said in a statement. — AFP

July 26, 2020

Workers removed the US insignia from the consulate in the Chinese city of Chengdu on Saturday, one day after Beijing ordered its closure as relations deteriorated in a Cold War-style standoff.

The Chengdu mission was ordered shut in retaliation for the forced closure of Beijing's consulate in Houston, Texas, with both sides alleging the other had endangered national security.

The deadline for the Americans to exit Chengdu remained unclear, but AFP reporters saw a worker on a small crane removing a circular US insignia from the front of the consulate, leaving just a US flag flying. — AFP

July 24, 2020

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that the Chinese consulate in Houston which Washington has ordered shut was a center for espionage and operations to illegally obtain US companies' trade secrets.

"This week we closed down China's consulate in Houston because it was a hub of spying and intellectual property theft," Pompeo says in a California speech on China's threat to the world.

"China ripped off our prized intellectual property and trade secrets costing millions of jobs across America" he says.

July 23, 2020

China launched a rover to Mars on Thursday, a journey coinciding with a similar US mission as the powers take their rivalry into deep space.

The two countries are taking advantage of a period when Earth and Mars are favourably aligned for a short journey, with the US spacecraft due to lift off on July 30.

The Chinese mission is named Tianwen-1 ("Questions to Heaven") — a nod to a classical poem that has verses about the cosmos. — AFP

July 15, 2020

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday the United States will ban visas to some employees of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, which Washington is seeking to isolate.

"The State Department will impose visa restrictions on certain employees of the Chinese technology companies like Huawei that provide material support to regimes engaging in human rights violations and abuses," Pompeo told a news conference. — AFP

July 8, 2020

US President Donald Trump said he is considering banning the wildly popular video-sharing app TikTok as a way to punish China over the coronavirus pandemic, remarks China described Wednesday as "a malicious smear".

TikTok has been caught up in the escalating disputes between the United States and China, with the Chinese-owned firm accused of acting as a spying tool for Beijing  an allegation it denies.

"It's something we're looking at," Trump said during a TV interview on Tuesday when asked about a possible ban, according to Bloomberg News. — AFP

June 23, 2020

The US military is deploying "unprecedented" numbers to the Asia-Pacific region, raising the risk of an incident with China's navy, a senior Chinese official says Tuesday.

Tensions between the two superpowers have soared on multiple fronts since US President Donald Trump took office in 2017, with both countries flexing their diplomatic and military muscle.

The United States' regular "freedom of navigation" operations in the South China Sea — where China and neighbouring countries have competing claims — angers Beijing, and China's navy usually warns off the US ships.

For its part, Beijing has infuriated other nations by building artificial islands with military installations in parts of the sea. — AFP

June 22, 2020

China will join a global pact to regulate arms sales that has been rejected by the United States, with Beijing saying Monday it is committed to efforts to "enhance peace and stability" in the world.

The Communist Party leadership's top legislative body voted Saturday to adopt a decision on joining the UN Arms Trade Treaty that is designed to control the flow of weapons into conflict zones. 

It comes after US President Donald Trump announced plans last year to pull the United States out of the agreement — which entered into force in 2014. — AFP

June 18, 2020

The United States presses China over its treatment of Uighur Muslims and Hong Kong as the two powers stood firm in high-level talks in Hawaii on soaring tensions.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met over nearly nine hours at a Honolulu military base with senior Chinese official Yang Jiechi, in the two countries' highest-level meeting since the coronavirus pandemic sent tensions skyrocketing, a State Department official says. — AFP

May 31, 2020

For nearly a decade, the UN Security Council has been frequently paralyzed by Russia's obstinacy over the Syrian crisis. Today, however, it is the US-China rivalry that has infected a growing array of issues, according to officials and diplomats.

As recently as 2017, an understanding between Washington and Beijing allowed the United Nations on three occasions — involving separate sets of economic sanctions — to project international unity in the face of the North Korean nuclear threat. 

Three years later, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a ferocious competition erupt between the UN's two main contributors, prompting the organization's chief, Antonio Guterres, to bemoan a "lack of leadership" during the world's worst crisis since 1945. — AFP

May 20, 2020

US President Donald Trump again lashes out at China Wednesday over the coronavirus pandemic, blaming Beijing for "mass Worldwide killing."

The early morning tweet, which also referred to an unidentified "wacko in China," was the latest heated rhetoric from the White House, where Trump is making attacks on Beijing a centerpiece of his November reelection bid.

"It was the 'incompetence of China', and nothing else, that did this mass Worldwide killing," the president tweeted. — AFP

May 16, 2020

Beijing has urged the United States to stop the "unreasonable suppression of Huawei and Chinese enterprises" after Washington announced new export controls to restrict the tech giant's access to semiconductor technology.

The latest restrictions on the world's second-largest smartphone manufacturer, which is at the centre of US spying allegations, are a new escalation in the US-China battle for global technological dominance.

"The Chinese government will firmly uphold Chinese firms' legitimate and legal rights and interests," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says in a statement Saturday. — AFP

December 31, 2019

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei says that "survival" was its first priority after announcing 2019 sales were expected to fall short of projections as a result of US sanctions.

Chairman Eric Xu says Huawei -- banned from working with American firms over national security fears -- estimates sales revenue will reach 850 billion yuan for 2019 (US$121 billion) -- up roughly 18 percent from the previous year, but much lower than initially expected.

In January this year, the company forecast sales revenue of US$125 billion.

In a New Year's message addressed to employees, Xu says the US government was in the midst of a "strategic and long-term" campaign against the company that would create a "challenging environment for Huawei to survive and thrive". — AFP

December 13, 2019

China's foreign minister accuses the United States of "seriously" damaging trust between the two countries amid tensions over human rights in Xinjiang and protests in Hong Kong.

The two countries have been locked in a trade dispute for almost two years, while rights issues in China's northwest region of Xinjiang and Hong Kong have further strained diplomatic relations.

The United States has "seriously damaged the foundation of hard-earned trust between China and the US," says Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. — AFP

December 13, 2019

The United States is poised to announce a historic trade deal with China, days before new tariffs are due to kick in between the world's two largest economies, easing a commercial dispute that has roiled markets for almost two years.

Reports that Washington and Beijing had struck a bargain at last -- subject to approval by US President Donald Trump -- sent US stocks sailing to their first record closes of December.

"Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it, and so do we!" Trump tweets in a markedly optimistic tone, although it was unclear if he would officially confirm the agreement. — AFP

December 6, 2019

China says it had taken "reciprocal" measures against US diplomats in the country, noting they will have to notify the foreign ministry before meeting with local officials.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying says China had notified the US embassy of the new measures on Wednesday, which she said were a "countermeasure" to Washington's decision in October to restrict Chinese diplomats.

"We once again urge the US side to correct its mistakes and revoke the relevant rules," she tells reporters at a press briefing. — AFP

November 9, 2019

A senior Pentagon official says the US would like to strengthen military cooperation with China, including repatriating the remains of American soldiers killed in the country during World War II.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who is scheduled to visit Asia next week, will meet with his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe on the sidelines of a meeting in Bangkok, says Randall Schriver, assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs.

"Our preference would be a more cooperative relationship with China," Schriver says.

November 3, 2019

China has launched an ambitious effort to challenge the US dominance in blockchain technology, which it could use for everything from issuing digital money, to streamlining a raft of government services and tracking Communist Party loyalty.

The technology received a crucial endorsement from President Xi Jinping last week, a signal that the government sees blockchain as an integral part of the country's plan to become a high-tech superpower.

Beijing is the latest in a handful of countries to have adopted a law strictly governing the encryption of data -- particularly blockchain technology, which allows the storage and direct exchange of data without going through an intermediary. — AFP

October 29, 2019

US regulators propose rules to block telecom carriers from buying from Chinese tech companies Huawei and ZTE, and to remove any of their equipment already in place.

The Federal Communications Commission said the rules -- to be voted on November 19 -- were part of an initiative to "safeguard the nation's communications networks."

The two Chinese firms have been accused of posing a national security threat because of their close ties to the Beijing government. Both have repeatedly denied the allegations. — AFP

September 21, 2019

President Donald Trump says that only a "complete" deal with China on trade will be acceptable and his tough approach won support from visiting Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

"I'm not looking for a partial deal. I'm looking for a complete deal," Trump tells reporters during a joint news conference with Morrison at the White House.

Trump denies that he was under pressure to resolve the massive trade dispute between the world's two main economic powers, saying "I don't think I need it before the election" in 2020. — AFP

September 12, 2019

US President Donald Trump announces that he agreed to delay an increase in tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods by two weeks.

Speaking weeks ahead of the resumption of talks aimed at resolving a grinding trade war, Trump says the tariff delay was requested by Beijing.

Top negotiators expect to reconvene in Washington early next month after an acrimonious summer in which trade relations deteriorated sharply and both governments announced waves of new tariffs in a stand-off that is dragging on the global economy. — AFP

September 3, 2019

Beleaguered Chinese telecom giant Huawei denies accusations reported in the Wall Street Journal that it stole technology from a Portuguese inventor, accusing him of "taking advantage of the current geopolitical situation." 

The US Department of Justice is looking into the claim, potentially adding to existing criminal cases against Huawei, the WSJ reported last week.

Huawei -- considered the world leader in superfast 5G equipment and the world's number two smartphone producer -- was in May swept into a deepening trade war between Beijing and Washington, which has seen punitive tariffs slapped on hundreds of billions of dollars of two-way trade. — AFP

August 21, 2019

China has blasted a planned US arms shipment to self-ruled Taiwan and threatened to sanction US firms involved in the sale of F-16 fighter jets.

"China will take all necessary measures to safeguard our interests including imposing sanctions on the US companies participating in this arms sale to Taiwan," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang tells a news briefing.

The US State Department on Tuesday approved the sale of 66 Lockheed Martin-built fighters, the F-16C/D Block 70, in an $8 billion deal, to Taiwan, which China claims as part of its territory.

August 16, 2019

President Donald Trump says the planned trade talks with China set for September will go ahead, and the sides continue to negotiate by phone.

"The meeting is still on, as I understand it," Trump tells reporters, less than a week after he said the next round in Washington might be canceled.

"We're having very good talks with China," he says, but warned that if Beijing retaliates against the US, "we have the ultimate form of retaliation." — AFP

August 9, 2019

President Donald Trump takes a step closer to sparking a currency war in the escalating conflict with China, saying he is not happy with the strong US dollar.

Trump has pursued a policy of maximum pressure, including subjecting all Chinese goods to punitive tariffs as of September 1, and accusing Beijing of manipulating its currency to gain a competitive edge.

In a move that breaks with decades of US policy, Trump seems to call for a weaker dollar to help American companies compete. — AFP

August 3, 2019

President Donald Trump says any new treaty to counter the build-up of nuclear missiles should include China, after the United States withdrew from a Cold War-era pact with Russia.

"We'd certainly want to include China at some point," Trump says.

"That would be a great thing for the world," he adds, hours after his administration formally pulled out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty. — AFP

August 1, 2019

China says that it had begun purchasing more US farm goods after the two economic giants restarted thorny trade talks with face-to-face negotiations in Shanghai this week.

Chinese enterprises started approaching US suppliers in mid-July to discuss buying agricultural goods including soybeans, cotton, pork and sorghum, commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng says at a regular press briefing.

Companies "have already purchased some agricultural products," he adds. — AFP

August 1, 2019

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insists that Washington was not asking Southeast Asian nations to "choose sides" between his country and rival power China, as he trailed a rebooted security and trade strategy at a Bangkok summit.

The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, a bitter trade war between the superpowers and open access to contested seas dominated talks between Pompeo and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of a summit of Southeast Asia's top diplomats.

Pompeo is tasked with reassuring Asian allies that the US remains a key player in the region as China builds up its military presence in disputed seas and airspace and cements its economic and political primacy across the region. — AFP

July 30, 2019

US and Chinese negotiators meet in Shanghai to resurrect trade talks between the world's two biggest economies, with both sides downplaying expectations of an imminent deal.

The negotiations in China's financial hub will be the first face-to-face discussions since negotiations collapsed in May, when US President Donald Trump accused China of reneging on its commitments.

Washington and Beijing have so far hit each other with punitive tariffs covering more than $360 billion in two-way trade, in a tense stand-off centred on demands for China to curb the alleged theft of American technology and provide a level playing field to US companies. — AFP

July 27, 2019

President Donald Trump threatens to withdraw recognition of the special "developing nation" status of China and other relatively rich countries at the World Trade Organization unless changes are made to the body's rules.

The salvo fell the week before top US trade officials are due to return to China to rekindle trade talks that acrimoniously collapsed in May.

"The WTO is BROKEN when the world's RICHEST countries claim to be developing countries to avoid WTO rules and get special treatment. NO more!!! Today I directed the U.S. Trade Representative to take action so that countries stop CHEATING the system at the expense of the USA!," Trump says on Twitter.

July 27, 2019

President Donald Trump warns Friday that he would snub Apple's requests for tariff exemptions on device components imported from China, as he put pressure on the tech company to shift production to the United States.

"Apple will not be given Tariff wavers, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China. Make them in the USA, no Tariffs!" Trump says on Twitter.

Later, Trump told reporters that he wanted Apple to make the parts in the United States. — AFP

July 26, 2019

State media says China accused FedEx of deliberately "holding up" the delivery of more than 100 Huawei packages after the US firm misrouted some parcels from the telecom giant.

The ongoing tussle between the two firms comes as Beijing and Washington face off in a trade war in which both sides have exchanged steep tariffs on hundreds of billions of exports.

FedEx apologised in May for "misrouting" what it said was a "small number" of Huawei packages.

Huawei said at the time it would review its ties with the package service over the incident. — AFP

July 23, 2019

Chinese telecom giant Huawei says that more than 600 jobs would be lost at a US unit as a result of "curtailment of business operations" caused by Washington's sanctions on the firm and 68 of its subsidiaries.

The layoffs will come at the Chinese company's US-based research and development arm, Futurewei Technologies, which is incorporated in Texas, an email statement from Huawei says.

Futurewei employs more than 750 people, according to Bloomberg's corporate information database. — AFP

July 13, 2019

China says it would impose sanctions on US companies involved in a potential arms sale worth $2.2 billion to self-ruled Taiwan -- a move that has infuriated Beijing.

"The US arms sale to Taiwan has severely violated the basic norms of international law and international relations," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang says in an online statement.

"In order to safeguard national interests, China will impose sanctions on US enterprises participating in this sale of weapons to Taiwan," he says. — AFP

July 10, 2019

Top US and Chinese negotiators hold phone talks as the world's top two economies seek to resolve their trade war, more than a week after they declared a truce.

Talks had broken down in May over US accusations that Beijing had reneged on its commitments, and the dispute escalated with the two sides exchanging steep increases in punitive tariffs. — AFP

July 9, 2019

China demands the United States "immediately cancel" a potential sale of $2.2 billion in arms to self-ruled Taiwan, including battle tanks and anti-aircraft missiles, adding fuel to tensions between the two powers.

It would be the first big-ticket US military sale to the democratically-governed island in decades, and comes as ties between Washington and Beijing are already strained by their trade war.  — AFP

July 8, 2019

China says "unilateral bullying" by the United States was the cause behind the escalating Iran nuclear crisis, after Tehran announced it was set to breach its uranium enrichment cap.

"The facts show that unilateral bullying has already become a worsening tumour," says Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a press briefing in Beijing. — AFP

July 6, 2019

US officials say US and Chinese officials are working to schedule a top-level trade talks by telephone next week but a face-to-face encounter has not been scheduled yet,

Efforts to pencil in a new round of negotiations come a week after President Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met in Japan and agreed to restart their stalled negotiations

But Beijing this week showed no sign of softening its position, with the Commerce Ministry announcing Thursday that any resolution would require Washington to lift the steep tariffs it imposed on Chinese imports last year.

"I know they're working on coming up with a date for so-called face-to-face meetings. That will happen," top White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow says. 

July 4, 2019

The Chinese commerce ministry says the US tariffs against China must be lifted for the two sides to reach a deal to end the trade war.

Trade teams from the world's top two economies "have maintained communication", ministry spokesman Gao Feng says, days after presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping announced a truce.

"The United States' unilateral tariff increase on China's exports to the United States is the starting point for the Sino-US economic and trade frictions," Gao says at a weekly press briefing. — AFP

July 3, 2019

China's telecoms giant Huawei remains barred from the development of 5G wireless networks in the United States, a senior White House trade advisor says.

"US policy on Huawei with respect to 5g in this country has not changed," Peter Navarro says.

"All we've done, basically, is to allow the sale of chips to Huawei. These are lower tech items which do not impact national security whatsoever." — AFP

June 29, 2019

US President Donald Trump says he was ready for a "historic" deal with China as he kicked off a hotly awaited meeting with China's Xi Jinping, with the world watching to see if they can strike a deal over their long-running trade war.

After a first day dominated by public shows of bonhomie, all eyes at the G20 turned to a pivotal showdown between the two rivals that has huge implications for the global economy.

The meeting kicked off in a positive tone, with Trump saying: "It would be historic if we could do a fair trade deal... We are totally open to it." — AFP

June 25, 2019

Chinese state media say top Chinese and US trade negotiators have held telephone talks ahead of a crunch meeting between presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump at the G20 summit this week.

Vice Premier Liu He -- Xi's pointman in the trade war -- spoke with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday and they "exchanged opinions on economic and trade issues," according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The call took place "at the request of the US side" and the officials agreed to continue to maintain contact, Xinhua says.

Trump's highly anticipated meeting with Xi will take place on Saturday, the second day of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, according to a US official. — AFP

June 11, 2019

China on Tuesday did not confirm a planned face-to-face meeting between President Xi Jinping and his American counterpart Donald Trump, after the US leader threatened new tariffs against Beijing amid an escalating trade war.

Trump said a meeting with Xi has been "scheduled" during the G20 summit in Japan later this month, and that he expected the Chinese leader to attend.

"We have noticed that the US has repeatedly publicly expressed its expectation that the Chinese and US heads of state will meet during the G20 summit," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular briefing.

"If there is any news in this regard, we will release it in due time."

A Trump-Xi meeting would mark a turning point in the bruising trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies, which has spooked markets worldwide and sparked worries about the global economy.  — Agence France-Presse

June 10, 2019

Trump says Xi meeting at G20 'scheduled', Agence France-Presse reports

June 6, 2019

China has granted 5G commercial licences to four domestic companies, as it races to be a global leader in advanced wireless networks amid fierce rivalry from the United States.

5G is the next-generation cellular network that offers faster data transfer speed and could enhance technologies such as autonomous driving, remote medical diagnosis and mobile payments.

But Beijing's ambitions have faced a major challenge from Washington, which has blacklisted Chinese tech giant Huawei just as it seeks to provide equipment for 5G networks in several countries.

Since last year, 5G trials have been conducted in Chinese cities ahead of plans to deploy the technology across the country in 2020, and now the government has given the green light. — AFP

June 4, 2019

China accuses the United States of attacking its system and smearing its policies after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made comments "out of prejudice and arrogance" about the Tiananmen crackdown.

The furious reaction comes after Pompeo, the day before the 30th anniversary of the June 4, 1989 bloodshed, said Washington had lost hope for human rights progress in China.

A spokesperson for Beijing's embassy in Washington says in a statement that whoever attempts "to patronize and bully the Chinese people... will only end up in the ash heap of history."

June 1, 2019

The US defense chief says telecommunications giant Huawei is "too close" to the Chinese government, making it difficult to trust the company at the heart of an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing,

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan's comments came amid a wave of controversy over the Chinese firm, which has been hit by allegations of espionage and faces a US ban. — AFP

May 30, 2019

China has accused the United States of "naked economic terrorism" as Beijing ramps up the rhetoric in their trade war.

The world's top two economies are at loggerheads as trade talks have apparently stalled, with US President Donald Trump hiking tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods earlier this month and blacklisting telecoms giant Huawei. — AFP

May 23, 2019

China has berated the United States for "bullying" Huawei as Panasonic joined a parade of foreign companies reviewing their ties with the telecom giant after a US ban linked to security concerns.

Beijing also warns that Washington must show "sincerity" for trade talks to resume after President Donald Trump's moves against Huawei stoked tensions between the world's top two economies. — AFP

May 23, 2019

China says US must show 'sincerity' for trade talks to continue. — AFP

May 22, 2019

A survey shows most US businesses in China are hurting from the tariffs war between the two countries, forcing some companies to relocate abroad or refocus their business.

The recent poll by the American Chamber of Commerce in China and its sister organisation in Shanghai paints a gloomy picture of the business environment for American companies. — AFP

May 21, 2019

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei says the United States underestimates his company, and that the telecom giant's 5G plans are not affected amid US moves to block its global ambitions.

"The current practice of US politicians underestimates our strength," Ren says in an interview with Chinese state media, adding that the company has a stockpile of chips and "can't be isolated" from the world.

May 10, 2019

The United States has pulled the trigger on a steep increase in tariffs on Chinese products and Beijing immediately vowed to hit back, turning up the heat before a second day of trade negotiations.

President Donald Trump got a briefing from his trade negotiators after the first day of talks with the Chinese side on Thursday, but made no move to hold off on the tariffs -- dashing hopes there might be a last-minute reprieve as the negotiations continued. — AFP

May 10, 2019

China's commerce ministry says it "deeply regrets" US tariff hikes on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and vowed to take "necessary countermeasures".

The commerce ministry's statement did not elaborate on what specific measures Beijing would take. — AFP

May 7, 2019

US officials accuse China of backtracking on commitments in trade negotiations and confirm tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods will more than double to 25 percent this week, according to US media reports.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says talks with China will resume Thursday but accused Beijing of "reneging" on previous commitments made in the negotiations, according to the reports.

The sides have been locked in a year-long trade war that has hit $360 billion in two-way trade, and the renewed tension sank global stock markets. — AFP

May 7, 2019

US officials accuses China of backtracking on commitments in trade negotiations and confirmed tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods will more than double to 25 percent this week, according to US media reports.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says talks with China will resume Thursday but accused Beijing of "reneging" on previous commitments made in the negotiations, according to the reports.

The sides have been locked in a year-long trade war that has hit $360 billion in two-way trade, and the renewed tension sank global stock markets. — AFP

April 18, 2019

The chairman of the top US telecoms regulator announces his opposition to allowing China Mobile to operate in the United States, citing risks to American national security.

The statement from Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai could mark the beginning of the end for the Chinese telecoms giant's eight-year effort to crack the US market. — AFP

April 6, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pence says the arrest of a Chinese woman who allegedly brought malicious software to President Donald Trump's Florida resort shows that Beijing poses a threat.

Zhang Yujing was arrested last week at Mar-a-Lago, where Trump was on one of his frequent visits, after attempting to enter while carrying multiple mobile phones and a thumb drive containing malware, according to court documents. — AFP

April 6, 2019

President Donald Trump says talks with Beijing were making progress toward ending the trade war between the world's two top economies, but he again stopped short of predicting success.

"The China meeting was a big success," Trump tells reporters, discussing the latest round of shuttle diplomacy conducted this week in Washington. — AFP

March 30, 2019

US trade negotiators are making "great headway" with Beijing, a top advisor to President Donald Trump says following the latest round of talks aimed at settling a bruising tariffs battle. — AFP

March 30, 2019

President Donald Trump says negotiations to end a bruising tariffs battle with Beijing are going "very well," but has reiterated that he will only accept a "great deal."

US and Chinese negotiators are working to find a binding agreement to address Trump's complaints about years of unfair treatment of US companies by China, which would allow a rollback of the tariffs hitting businesses in both countries. — AFP

March 9, 2019

President Donald Trump says he remains optimistic but will not agree to a pact with China unless it is a "very good deal." And an economic advisor says Trump could walk away from the negotiations.

The economic superpowers have been locked in a trade battle since last summer, striking out with steep tariffs on more than $360 billion in two-way trade, which is beginning to sap economic growth and business confidence. — AFP

February 25, 2019

Shanghai shares soar 5.60 percent after US President Trump delays tariff hike. — AFP

February 23, 2019

North Korea's Kim Jong Un will soon make an official visit to Vietnam, Hanoi says as it beefed up security on the Chinese border where Kim is expected to cross by train ahead of his summit with US President Donald Trump next week. 

Vietnam is hastily preparing for a second summit between Trump and Kim on February 27-28 in Hanoi, and sources have said the North Korean leader is likely to arrive ahead of the meeting for an official visit and to tour industrial zones. — AFP

February 23, 2019

Vietnamese authorities are preparing for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to arrive by train next week ahead of his summit with US president Donald Trump, several sources say.

The leaders are slated to meet in Hanoi on February 27-28 to follow up on their first meeting last June in Singapore that ended with vaguely worded commitments on dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear programme. — AFP

February 23, 2019

US President Donald Trump says a trade summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping was likely next month, and hailed two days of "very good talks" by negotiators.

The negotiations were extended through Sunday as officials race to reach a deal ahead of a deadline next week when US duty rates are due to rise sharply. — AFP

February 19, 2019

South Korea's Yonhap news agency says the North Korean special representative for the US has arrived in Beijing, apparently en route to Vietnam to meet his Washington counterpart ahead of a second summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un,

Kim Hyok Chol arrived in the Chinese capital at around 10 am (0200 GMT) and was expected to board a plane bound for Hanoi later in the day. — AFP

February 16, 2019

President Donald Trump says the trade negotiations with China were going "extremely well" and again offered the possibility of extending the March 1 deadline for a sharp rise in punitive tariffs.

Senior officials completed two days of high-stakes talks in Beijing as they try to avert the US threat to more than double tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, which would be an unwelcome shock to the world's second largest economy as it already has shown signs of slowing. — AFP

February 15, 2019

China-US trade talks will continue in Washington next week, Chinese state media reports President Xi Jinping as saying.

"Next week the two sides will also meet in Washington," Xi told top US and Chinese trade negotiators after two-days of talks wrapped up in Beijing, according to the official news agency Xinhua. — AFP

February 15, 2019

Top US economic officials are to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping after wrapping up trade talks in Beijing without announcing any progress.

The world's two biggest economies were aiming to at least end the discussions on deep trade differences with enough goodwill to avoid an escalation of their tariff war. — AFP

February 14, 2019

US and Chinese negotiators have kicked off two days of high-level talks that President Donald Trump says could decide whether he escalates the bruising tariff battle between the world's two biggest economies.

Trump indicated this week he was open to extending a trade truce beyond March 1 depending on progress in Beijing. In December, he postponed plans to sharply hike tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to allow more time for negotiation. — AFP

February 13, 2019

Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to meet with top US officials in Beijing this week, a report says, as the world's two biggest economies rush to patch up their trade differences before a looming deadline.

Xi will meet on Friday with officials including US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who are in the capital for crunch talks towards a trade deal, the South China Morning Post reports. — AFP

February 2, 2019

In a move that could harden Washington's posture toward Beijing for years, the US intelligence community has characterized relations with China as a global ideological showdown that will not be doused by trade deals or commercial theft crackdowns.

US spy chiefs abruptly shifted their view of the superpower rivalry this week to something much deeper than a contest over markets, technology and geopolitics.

The annual Worldwide Threat Assessment released by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats instead said China is seeking to propagate "authoritarian capitalism" to counter Western liberal democracy, in an echo of the decades-long Cold War.

"Chinese leaders will increasingly seek to assert China's model of authoritarian capitalism as an alternative -- and implicitly superior -- development path abroad, exacerbating great-power competition that could threaten international support for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law," it said. -- Agence France-Presse

February 1, 2019

The United States and China say their trade war negotiations resulted in major progress as the clock ticks on a March deadline to avert a massive escalation of tariffs that could bruise the global economy.

US President Donald Trump has hailed "tremendous progress" and welcomed a "beautiful" letter from his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, who says he hoped for further cooperation.

Beijing's official Xinhua news agency says that US and Chinese negotiators made "important progress" during two days of "candid, specific and fruitful" discussions in Washington. — AFP

January 30, 2019

The United States has called for more transparency as it accused Russia and China of not fully reporting their nuclear programmes amid US threats to withdraw from a key arms control treaty.

A senior US official has made the remarks as the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- all of them nuclear-armed powers -- met in Beijing for talks on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. — AFP

January 30, 2019

Top US and Chinese trade officials return to the bargaining table, with extra tension in the atmosphere amid Washington's sweeping prosecution of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.

The world's two largest economies are battling for nothing less than future dominance in critical high-tech industries, according to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the lead US negotiator. — AFP

January 29, 2019

China has urged Washington to "stop the unreasonable crackdown" on Huawei and other companies following the U.S. indictment of the Chinese tech giant.

A foreign ministry statement read on state TV news complained U.S. authorities "mobilized state power to blacken" some Chinese companies "in an attempt to strangle fair and just operations." It said there was a "strong political motivation and political manipulation." — AP

January 29, 2019

US President Donald Trump will meet with China's trade envoy this week during talks aimed at resolving the trade dispute with Beijing, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is leading a delegation of 30 officials to Washington for talks Wednesday and Thursday as the pressure mounts on both sides to reach a deal. — AFP

January 23, 2019

The White House says high-level trade talks with Beijing were proceeding uninterrupted, quickly rebutting media reports that progress toward resolving their trade war had faltered.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is to meet his US counterparts in Washington next week as the two sides work to resolve their trade disagreements by March 1, when a 90-day truce is due to expire, allowing US import duties on Chinese goods to increase sharply. - AFP

January 12, 2019

The head of the US Navy will visit his Chinese counterpart next week, officials say, as the two powers seek to reduce military risks amid ongoing trade tensions.

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson will travel to Beijing and Nanjing from January 13 to 16, when he will meet with Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong, who commands the People's Liberation Army Navy. — AFP

January 4, 2019

Shares have risen in Europe and Asia as investors looked ahead to next week's trade talks between the U.S. and China.

China's Commerce Ministry says the talks will be held Monday and Tuesday in Beijing. Officials hope to cool a festering trade dispute that has shaken global financial markets. — AP

January 4, 2019

A US government delegation will visit China next week for the first face-to-face talks since President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart agreed on a temporary truce in the trade war, Beijing says.

The US and China have exchanged tit-for-tat tariffs on more than $300 billion worth of goods in total two-way trade, locking them in a conflict that has begun to eat into profits and contributed to stock market plunges.

Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish will lead the Washington delegation and will discuss "implementing the important consensus" reached by Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina last year, China's commerce ministry says. — AFP

November 23, 2018

US President Donald Trump insists he was "very prepared" for a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping next week at the G20 summit in Argentina, and suggests a deal could be reached to end the trade war.

The president will meet Xi on the sidelines of the summit, which is taking place from November 30 to December 1 in Buenos Aires. — AFP

June 27, 2018

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and his Chinese counterpart are striking a positive note as they sat down to tackle the thorny issue of how to get North Korea to fulfill a pledge to abandon its nuclear program.

Mattis says he and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe opened discussions in Beijing on Wednesday with a "very open and honest dialogue." Wei says the visit is important to increase strategic trust and enhance the cooperation between them.

Neither mentioned specific issues but North Korean denuclearization is expected to top the agenda. — AP

June 3, 2018

China warns that any deals they produce "will not take effect" if President Donald Trump's threatened tariff hike on Chinese goods goes ahead.

The warning came after delegations led by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and China's top economic official, Vice Premier Liu He, wrapped up a meeting on Beijing's pledge to narrow its trade surplus. Ross said at the start of the event they had discussed specific American exports China might purchase, but the talks ended with no joint statement and neither side released details.

The White House threw the meeting's status into doubt Tuesday by renewing a threat to impose 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese high-tech goods in response to complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.

May 24, 2018

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says the US should avoid politicizing the case of a US employee who suffered brain trauma similar to the mysterious injuries experienced by US diplomats in Cuba.

"We don't want to see that this individual case would be magnified, complicated or even politicized," says Wang, in Washington for talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

On Wednesday the US embassy in Beijing issued a warning after reporting that an employee in the southern city of Guangzhou was diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) apparently linked to "abnormal sounds."

"China has been investigating this matter in a very responsible manner," Wang says in a press conference with Pompeo. "We haven't found that any organization or individual has carried out such a sonic influence." — Agence France-Presse

The US decision to disinvite China from upcoming maritime exercises in the Pacific is "non-constructive," China's Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi says.

"We find that a very non-constructive move," Wang says at a press conference with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after the two met in Washington.

"It's also a decision taken lightly and is unhelpful to mutual understanding between China and the US." — Agence France-Presse

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